Category Archives: Rice

Mutton Dhansak with Brown Rice & Kachumbar

Mutton Dhansak with Brown Rice & Kachumbar

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Difficulty: easy
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Mutton Dhansak with Brown Rice & Kachumbar







I am so very excited to share today’s recipe with my fellow kooky cooks.

Dhansak is one dish that I have been meaning to make for the longest time but was a bit nervous thinking it was way too time consuming and elaborate with an over-stretched ingredients list. Glad to say I was proved wrong.

A few weeks back, I had this famous Parsi mutton and rice dinner at my friend Meher’s place. Having got the recipe from her, I mustered the courage to try it in my own kitchen.

Dhansak is a stew of mutton, dals and vegetables served over brown rice alongside some kachumbar.

Vegetables to be used include pumpkin, aubergine and small fenugreek leaves. If you can’t get hold of the latter, skip the leaves but don’t substitute with regular or dry variants.

Mutton dhahsak is the most authentic version although you do get chicken and vegetable dhansak as well.

The brown rice is actually white rice which is cooked in caramalised water.  It should become very brown, something I didn’t achieve in my first attempt (mine turned out a pale brown).

Kachumbar is a mixture of finely chopped onions and tomatoes with some chilli and coriander. You can also add a chopped cucumber if you wish.

I used ready prepared dhansak masala; it is available in most Indian grocery stores. Meher’s family use the Mangal brand which they say comes closest to the homemade version so I managed to get a packet from them.

There is one more component to dhansak which I skipped – kebabs.

one of the most satisfying dinner experience you will have

Enjoy with some chilled beer.


Ingredients for Dhansak

500 Grams mutton (preferably on the bone)

1/2 Cup tuvar dal

1/2 Cup masoor dal

125 Grams Pumpkin

4 Baby aubergine

4 Ripe tomato

2 Onions

2 Tablespoons ginger-garlic paste

2 1″ cinnamon sticks

4-5 Cloves

4-5 Whole peppercorns

3 Green cardamom

3 Black cardamom

2 Bayleaf

1-2 Tablespoons dhansak masala

2 Teaspoons turmeric powder

1 Tablespoon chilli powder

1-2 Teaspons jaggery powder (or a small lump of jaggery)

1-2 Tablespoons oil

Salt to taste


  1. Soak the tuvar dal for 5-6 hours.
  2. Clean the mutton and apply a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste.
  3. Cook the mutton in about 2 cups of water till tender.
  4. Drain the stock and set aside.
  5. Wash and cube the pumpkin (I didn’t peel it).
  6. Wash and cube the aubergine.
  7. Wash the masoor dal.
  8. Place the two dals, chopped vegetables, 1 teaspoon turmeric powder and a pinch of salt into a pot. Cook till meltingly soft. (You can do this in a pressure cooker if you wish).
  9. Once the dal and vegetables are cooked, mash them with the back of a spoon and set aside.
  10. Wash and puree the tomato.
  11. Peel, wash and chop the onion.
  12. Heat the oil in a large pot.
  13. Once it is hot, add the cinnamon stick, clove, peppercorn, cardamom and bayleaf.
  14. Lower the heat and add the onion along with salt to taste.
  15. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  16. Uncover and add 1 tablespoon ginger-garlic paste. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes.
  17. Add the tomato puree.
  18. Stir well, cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  19. Uncover and add the mutton, dal and vegetable mixture, dhansak masala, jaggery and chilli powder.
  20. At this stage, check for consistency. If you feel that it needs some water, add the mutton stock. But keep in mind that the dhansak should be fairly thick, not watery.
  21. Mix well and check for salt.
  22. Cover and cook for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  23. Take off the heat and keep aside till ready to serve.


Ingredients for Brown Rice

1 Cup white rice

2 Onions

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 Teaspoon salt

1 Tablespoon ghee


  1. Wash and soak the rice for 30 minutes.
  2. Peel, wash and slice the onion.
  3. Take a pot to cook the rice in.
  4. Heat the ghee in it and when it has melted, add the sugar.
  5. Lower the heat and keep stirring till the sugar melts. It will become brown as it starts caramelising.
  6. Once the sugar has caramalised, add the sliced onions.
  7. Mix well, cover and cook for about 10 minutes. By the end, the onions should be nicely brown.
  8. Drain the rice and add to the browned onions, along with some salt.
  9. Gently mix.
  10. Add 2 cups of water, increase the heat and bring to boil.
  11. Once it reaches rolling boil, lower the heat, cover and cook for about 25 minutes till the rice is full cooked.
  12. Once cooked, take off the heat and let it sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Ingredients for Kachumbar

2 Onion

2 Ripe tomato

1 Cucumber (optional)

2 Green chilli

Small bunch fresh coriander

Juice of 1 lime or lemon

Salt to taste


  1. Peel, wash and finely chop the onion.
  2. Wash and finely dice the tomato.
  3. Wash and finely chop the cucumber, if using.
  4. Wash, dry and finely chop the coriander.
  5. Wash and finely slice the chilli.
  6. Mix all the ingredients and chill for half hour before serving.

Serving Dhansak

  1. Serve some brown rice on a plate.
  2. Ladle dhansak on top of the rice.
  3. Serve kachumbar on the side.


Joojeh Kebabs on Saffron Rice with Grilled Vegetables and Beetroot Yoghurt

Joojeh Kebabs with Grilled Vegetables and Beetroot Yoghurt









Joojeh kebab are Iranian chicken kebabs cooked in saffron and yoghurt. They are served on a bed of rice along with some grilled vegetables, yoghurt and pickles.

our first dinner of 2014

The menu may seem elaborate but if you plan properly and do some things ahead of time, it is pretty straightforward.

You can serve these kebabs with some Persian saffron rice. To save on time, I created my own version of the fragrant rice recipe.

We had a friend over and so much was going on that I didn’t get the opportunity to take proper photographs.

A really delicious yet light on the stomach kind of dinner which I would definitely like to repeat.

The following serves four people.

Ingredients for Joojeh Kebabs

1 Kilo boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into medium size pieces

1 Cup thick, creamy yoghurt (Greek or hung yoghurt would work well here)

2 Onions

1 Teaspoon saffron strands

2 Lemons or limes

1 Tablespoon olive oil

1 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Salt to taste

Method for Joojeh Kebabs

  1. Peel, wash and grate the onions.
  2. Juice the lemons or limes.
  3. Mix together the yoghurt, grated onions, saffron, juice of lime or lemon, olive oil, black pepper and salt.
  4. Check to see whether the salt is okay and add more if needed.
  5. Now, add the chicken pieces to the yoghurt marinade.
  6. Combine well, cover and refrigerate for as long as you can (I had left it to marinade for 8 hours).
  7. When you are ready to cook, skewer the chicken pieces and grill them for 15 to 20 minutes till the chicken is cooked.
  8. Turn them frequently and baste as necessary with the marinade.
  9. When cooked, keep aside on a serving platter.

Ingredients for Grilled Vegetables

4 Green peppers

4 Large tomatoes (or 8 small ones)

4 Large onions (or 8 small ones)

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Juice of one lime or lemon

Salt tot taste

Method for Grilled Vegetables

  1. Wash and quarter the green pepper. Remove seeds and core.
  2. Wash and halve the tomatoes.
  3. Peel, wash and halve the onions.
  4. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon/lime juice and salt.
  5. Pour this mixture over the vegetables and let them sit for about 30 minutes. You can do this while the kebabs are cooking.
  6. Grill the vegetables till they are a bit charred, basting frequently as and when needed.
  7. Keep aside on a serving platter or in a dish.

Ingredients for Beetroot Yoghurt

2 Beetroots

1 Cup yoghurt

Salt to taste

Method for Beetroot Yoghurt

  1. Wash and steam the beetroot till tender but still firm.
  2. Peel and cube the vegetable.
  3. Whisk the yoghurt and add the cubed beetroot and salt.
  4. Mix well, cover and refrigerate. You can do this several hours beforehand. Take out the beetroot yoghurt from the refrigerator half hour before serving to bring it down to room temperature.

Ingredients for Saffron Rice

1 Cup long grain rice (I used Basmati)

2 Cups water

1 Tablespoon butter

1 Teaspoon saffron strands

Salt to taste

Method for Saffron Rice

  1. Wash the rice till the water runs clear.
  2. Place the washed and drained rice in a pot and add 2 cups of water.
  3. Next, add the saffron, butter and salt.
  4. Cover the pot with a large piece of foil followed by a tight fitting lid. You can do this beforehand and let the rice sit till ready to cook.
  5. Half hour before sitting down for dinner, place the rice pot on the burner on minimum heat. The rice should be cooked by the end of the 30 minutes.
  6. Open the lid and a bit of the foil to check for doneness. The end result should be long, separate, fluffy grains of yellow coloured rice.

To plate

  1. Place one serving of rice on a plate.
  2. Put the chicken kebab on the rice.
  3. Add the grilled vegetables on one side.
  4. Serve beetroot yoghurt on another side.

The grilled vegetables are good enough to eat on their own.

Grilled Vegetables









Joojeh kebabs on saffron rice.

Joojeh Kebabs