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Prawn Dhansak

Cook's Notes

Increase the number of chillies according to how hot you want it to be. The four green chillies here will give you a moderately hot dhansak.

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  1. 1

    Put the lentils in a large heavy-based pan, season well with salt and black pepper, then pour in enough cold water to cover. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes, or until soft. Top up with hot water if they begin to dry out. Drain and put to one side.

  2. 2

    Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of the oil or 1 / 2 tablespoon of the ghee in a large heavy-based frying pan, add the dried spices, and cook, stirring all the time, for 2 minutes, or until the seeds pop. Stir in the onions, ginger, garlic, and chillies, and cook for 5 minutes, or until soft and fragrant.

  3. 3

    Add the remaining oil or ghee to the pan, then add the prawns. Raise the heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 6–8 minutes, or until pink and cooked. Stir through the pineapple, add the lentils and tomatoes and a little hot water so the mixture is slightly sloppy, and simmer for 5 minutes. Season again with salt and black pepper, stir through the coriander, and serve.


  • 350g red lentils
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil or 1tbsp ghee
  • 6 pods cardamom pods, crushed
  • 3 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 10 cm fresh root ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, grated or finely chopped
  • 3 - 4 green chillies, deseeded and finely sliced
  • 675g (shelled weight) uncooked king prawns
  • 1 fresh pineapple, peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped
  • 1 handful fresh coriander, finely chopped
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Serves 8

Total time required Total time:

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Recipe published with permission from © Dorling Kindersley Limited. Cook Express 2009.


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