A Parsi delicacy which is easy to make, this fragrant daal and vegetable curry comes from Gujarat province and is served with caramelised rice.






Skill level

Average: 3.7 (11 votes)


  • 2 cups (400 g) yellow split peas (toor dal), soaked in cold water for 1 hour, drained
  • 1 cup chopped cauliflower
  • 1 cup chopped potato
  • 1 cup chopped pumpkin
  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp dhan saak masala (see Note)
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup chopped coriander, plus 2 tbsp extra
  • ½ cup chopped mint
  • 1 tsp finely chopped green chilli
  • 1 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • salt, to taste

Caramelised rice

  • ½ cup (110 g) caster sugar
  • 2 cups basmati rice

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Soaking time 1 hour

The following recipe has been tested and edited by SBS Food and may differ slightly from the podcast.

Combine the split peas, cauliflower, potato, pumpkin, tomatoes and 1 litre (4 cups) water in a large saucepan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a gentle boil and cook for 2 hours until the daal and vegetables are just tender.

Meanwhile, to make the rice, combine the sugar and 60 ml (¼ cup) water in a medium saucepan. Place over a low heat and stir until the sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to high and cook for 6–7 minutes until medium golden in colour. Pour in 125 ml (½ cup) water and stir until the caramel dissolves. Remove from the heat and combine the sugar syrup with 500 ml (2 cups) cold water. Add the rice, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to the lowest possible setting and cook, covered, for 20 minutes until the water has evaporated and the rice is tender.

Place a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the oil, garam masala, cumin, coriander, dhan saak masala, green chilli and ginger, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the coriander and mint and cook for a further minute until well combined. Add the spice mixture to the daal, with the lemon juice and 250 ml (1 cup) water. Season with salt to taste, mix well and simmer for a further 5–10 minutes until aromatic.

Garnish with coriander and serve hot with the caramelised rice.


• Dhan saak masala is a spicy curry powder blend available from Indian grocers. If unavailable, substitute with hot curry powder.


Photography by Alan Benson