with saffron & vanilla bean – a creamy, fudge-like sweetmeat eaten all over India particularly on special occasions like the ‘Festival of Light’ – Diwali and family poojas. They’re a real treat. I like to eat burfi whenever I can! They remind me of Dad’s return home from trips away, opening up the cardboard boxes and diving into the sticky, sweet delights. This version is really quick and easy to make, goes well with chai, coffee, family and friends!



55g/2oz ghee, clarified butter or 3 good tbsp vegetable oil

450g/1lb onions, peeled, diced

2tsp/12g sugar or 10g Indian Jaggery

5 fat cloves garlic, crushed or whizzed

60g or 2 fat inches ginger, grated or whizzed

1 packet of GREEN SAFFRON Dhansak Spice Mix sachet 1

1kg/2lb stewing lamb, roughly cut into cubes

300g/½lb Puy lentils (green or brown are fine)

1 tin tomatoes, chopped

1 litre or 1¾ pints of warm stock (lamb or light chicken)

Good tbsp (25g) tamarind puree

A full handful fresh coriander, finely chopped (stalks and all)


3 tbsp sunflower or vegetable oil

1 packet of GREEN SAFFRON Dhansak Tempering Spice Mix sachet 2


  1. Melt the ghee in a large casserole dish or heavy-bottomed saucepan, then add the onions, sugar and fry on medium heat until they’re a good golden brown colour
  2. Next, add the garlic, ginger and GREEN SAFFRON Dhansak Spice Mix sachet 1. Stir around for a couple of minutes to evenly coat all ingredients
  3. Turn down the heat, add the tomatoes, tamarind puree and lamb cubes to the pan. Stir around briefly to combine all ingredients and allow to cook for about 1hr with the lid on
  4. Then add the lentils, pour in the warm stock, bring to the boil then simmer gently with the lid back on for about 45 minutes or until the lamb and lentils are cooked and the sauce has reduced to the thickness you want. It should pour from a spoon with a thick yoghurt type consistency.


If you want the sauce to thicken up, take the lid off the pan after 1½ hours and allow it to reduce for 10 to 15 minutes

  1. Turn off the heat.

Tempering time:

  1. In another sauté or saucepan heat the sunflower oil until very, very hot (smoking point), then pour the GREEN SAFFRON Dhansak Tempering Spice Mix sachet 2 into the hot oil.
  2. As soon as you hear a crackling sound, this should only be about 10 seconds if the oil is really good and hot, remove the sauté pan from the heat, pour its contents into the lamb and lentil mixture and stir around to combine all the flavours.
  3. Throw in the fresh coriander and serve….simple!

Serving suggestion:

Serve with mounds of Green Saffron’s Indian Basmati rice and spiced banana riata.

Alternative suggestions:

Try replacing the lamb with 2lbs of chicken breast cut into mouth-size pieces, but remember to only cook it for about 30 minutes otherwise the chicken will be really tough. Fish could also be used instead of lamb. Monkfish is recommended as it has a firmer texture. Again, remember to only just cook the fish. This could take as little as 15 to 20 minutes.


This recipe has been tried and tested by the Green Saffron Masaalchi and is pretty much guaranteed, but if you want to change the quantities of a couple of ingredients go for it….experiment and enjoy your cooking. With Green Saffron spices you can’t go wrong!!!