Dhan-Saak Dal (Protein-rich and Low-cal ) by Tarla Dalal

Tarla.Dalal's picture

Nov. 28, 2013

A traditional Parsi dish usually prepared on Sundays for a family meal. As the name says, dhan-saak is an interesting combination of dals (dhan) and vegetables (saak) perked with loads of spices to make it a mouth-watering dish. Being cooked only with 1 teaspoon of oil this is a really healthier recipe. We have taken care not to strain out the dal after boiling it so as to retain all the fibre and nutrients that the vegetables and dals provide. Serve the dhan-saak with Brown Rice, to make a completely gratifying meal.


Toor dal 1/2 Cup (8 tbs) , washed and drained (arhar)
Yellow moong dal 2 Teaspoon , washed, drained (split yellow gram)
Masoor daal 2 Teaspoon , washed, drained (split red lentil)
Urad dal 2 Teaspoon , washed, drained (split black lentils)
Chopped potatoes 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Chopped eggplant 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Chopped bottle gourd 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Chopped red pumpkin 1/4 Cup (4 tbs)
Finely chopped spring onion 1/4 Cup (4 tbs) (whites and greens)
Chopped tomatoes 1/2 Cup (8 tbs)
Salt To Taste
Oil 1 Teaspoon
Tamarind pulp 2 Tablespoon
For ground paste
Garlic cloves 4
Whole dry kashmiri red chilies 3
Coriander seeds 1 Teaspoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 Teaspoon
Green chili 1
Peppercorns 4
Cloves 4
Cardamom 1
Chopped coriander 2 Tablespoon
Water 2 Tablespoon



For Ground Paste:

1. In blender, add cloves, red chili, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green chili, peppercorn, cloves, cardamom, chopped coriander, and water. Grind until smooth and set aside.


2. In a pressure cooker, combine the toovar dal, yellow moong dal, masoor dal, urad dal, 2 cups water, potatoes, eggplant, bottle gourd, red pumpkin, tomatoes , spring onion, and salt. Mix well and pressure cook for 3 whistles. Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid.

3. Into a blender, transfer the vegetable and dal. Blend until smooth and set aside.

4. In a non-stick skillet, heat oil, add the grounded spice paste and cook over medium flame for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously.

5. Add the dal-vegetable mixture, ½ cup of water, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

6. Stir in tamarind pulp and cook for 1 minute, stirring once in between.


7. Serve hot with brown rice and salad.

Recipe Summary

Difficulty Level: Easy
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Ready In: 20 Minutes
Servings: 4

Nutrition Facts

Serving size

Calories 169Calories from Fat 20

 % Daily Value*

Total Fat 2 g3.1%

Saturated Fat %

Trans Fat 0 g


Sodium 114 mg4.75%

Total Carbohydrates 30 g10%

Dietary Fiber 7 g28%

Sugars 3 g

Protein 9 g18%

Vitamin A % Vitamin C %

Calcium % Iron %

*Based on a 2000 Calorie diet