Aubergine and Lentil Dhansak

Aubergine and Lentil Dhansak

When my husband Howard and I would go out for an Indian meal Howard would always order a Chicken Dhansak. Either that or a Chicken Kori. As we enjoy being meat free during the week I decided to make a lentil version of my husbands favourite curry.

A Dhansak curry normally consists of chicken, lentils and liberal use of herbs and spices. Instead of chicken I have used aubergine as this has a very meaty flavour and texture Recently I learned that Dhansak in certain Indian communities is considered to ultimate comfort food.

Now I know why my husband likes it so much. Howard is not only a creature of habit, he’s definitely built for comfort. Thankfully Howard really enjoyed this dish although he did ask if it was being served with a peshwari naan instead of rice. Cheeky man!!! we all enjoyed this dish and we hope you do too.

What do you order when you go to an Indian restaurant? And do you order a usual meal or are you a bit more adventurous? Let me know in the comments below and please don’t forget to like and follow me.

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  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Vegetable peeler
  • Large saucepan
  • Teaspoon
  • Stirring spoon


  • Leek x 1
  • Aubergine x 1
  • Courgette x 1
  • Red pepper x 1
  • Lentils x 200g
  • Tomatoes x 1 400g tin
  • Veg stock or bone broth x 400mls
  • Mild, medium or hot chilli powder x 1 tsp
  • Ground cumin x 1 tsp
  • Ground coriander x 1 tsp
  • Cardamon pods x 5 – 6
  • Cayenne pepper x 1/4 – 1 tsp
  • Salt x a pinch
  • Spinach
  • Oil for the base of the pan


  • Peel the aubergine and courgette.
  • Slice the vegetables into 2 centimetre chunks.
  • Cut the top from the red pepper and remove the core and the stalk.
  • Next slice the leek into 1/2 centimetre pieces.
  • Put the large saucepan onto a high heat on the hob and add oil to the base of the pan.
  • When the pan is hot add in the leek and fry until it becomes see through.
  • It will take a good 5 minutes for the leek to soften and become translucent/see through.
  • Once the leek has softened add in the red pepper, aubergine and courgette.
  • Fry these ingredients until they start to soften.
  • At this point you may need to turn down the heat as food can become stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • If this happens add a little water, about 20 mls or so, to loosen the food from the pan.
  • Again, It will take a good 5 – 10 minutes for the vegetables to soften and become translucent/see through.
  • Once the vegetables are soft add in the lentils and stir into the vegetables.
  • Now sprinkle over the mild, medium or hot chilli powder, ground cumin, ground coriander, cayenne pepper and salt.
  • Crack the cardamon pods open with your teeth and sprinkle over as well.
  • Stir these spices into the other ingredients.
  • When everything is well mixed together pour over the vegetable or chicken stock (if not vegan) and stir again.
  • Turn the heat up and bring all the vegetables to the boil.
  • Once the curry is boiling turn the heat down and leave to simmer until the red lentils are soft.
  • Meanwhile cook the rice as per the packet instructions.
  • Finally add in the spinach and let in wilt down in the curry.
  • Then serve and enjoy.
Aubergine and Lentil Dhansak

Aubergine and Lentil Dhansak was a hit in our house. Howard and my son Ted enjoyed this dish. It’s a great meal that will feed a whole family. Plus you could make a big batch and freeze any leftovers for another occasion. All the ingredients are freezable so the meal could also be made in advance and frozen too. Then all you have to do is defrost it and heat it up on the day you want to eat it. However you decide to eat this dish, as always, please enjoy. Thank you. xxx