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  • Dan Smith

The Shiatsu Bus Food Energetics Series: Gooseberry Dhal with Sweet Potato patties and brown rice.

This weeks recipe is bought to you from the Zen Gardens in Bonsal near Matlock (well, I made this recipe in the car park next to it!). Its a beautiful and serene location that I am told hold various retreats and there is a B&B which is part of the house owned by the gentleman who designed and built the garden. A really interesting place!

It is no secret that Gooseberries (available in shops from May in the UK) have a very wide range of health benefits. To name a few, they are a very rich sauce of vitamin C, fibre, iron and zinc. They are equally good for our hair / scalp, Heart, controlling blood sugar and are also good for our digestive system.

So here is a simple no-frills dhal cooked in a Bengali style. It has a tempering of just some mustard seeds and dry red chilies for a smokey flavour. It is a great comfort food and tastes absolutely great with plain steamed rice, and or some sweet potato patties as an accompaniment.

Lentils are recommended for all conditions of Ki Deficiency, nourishing the Spleen and Kidney and strengthening the Heart. They also act against Dampness, an action shared by the Gooseberries and spices which bring warmth and movement and increase the action against Dampness.

Sweet potato nourishes the Yin and Ki with a strengthening action on the Spleen and Kidney. The brown rice is nourishing and remedies Spleen Ki Deficiency.


  • Goose Berries– 5-10

  • 250g Red Lentils

  • Onion – 2 cubed

  • Green chillis – 3 no slit

  • Turmeric – 1 tsp

  • Salt – to taste

  • Water – 350ml

  • Coriander roughly chopped

For tempering:

  • Goose Berries – 2-3 finely chopped

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

  • Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

  • Red chillis dried – 2 or 1 tsp flakes

  • Garlic – 3 bulbs

  • Red chilli powder – 1/2 tbsp

  • Curry leaves – 5 whole

  • Asafoetida – 1/4 tsp

  • Oil – 2 tbsp

Sweet Potato Patties:

  • 500g Sweet Potato

  • 1 onion

  • 1 egg

  • Knob of butter

  • 1 teaspoon dried ginger

  • 2 tablespoons plain flour

  • 1/4 tbs cayenne pepper

  • 1/2 tbs nutmeg

  • Salt and Pepper


  • Wash and drain lentils. Add water and soak it for an hour. Boil the soaked lentils along with onions, green chillis, turmeric, 3 gooseberries and water 35 minutes whisking regularly.

  • Take out the 5 cooked gooseberries and place into a bowl. Deseed and mash them and keep it aside.

  • Make sure dhal is smooth, add the mashed gooseberries to it. Add water to dal for required consistency . Season the dal with salt. Combine everything well and keep it aside.

  • Now for tempering. In a small pan add oil, add mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering add cumin seeds, red chilli, Asafoetida and curry leaves. Saute them for 30 secs. Add the finely chopped gooseberries, cook it for a 30 secs. Switch off the flame and add the red chilli powder. Add the tempering to the dal mixture.

  • Serve hot and garnish with corriander

Sweet Potato Patties:

  • Boil the sweet potato until tender then mash

  • Finely dice the onion, beat the egg and add these to the potatoes together with the other ingredients and stir in as much oatmeal or breadcrumbs as is needed to make a stiff mixture.

  • Heat the oil in a pan, sprinkle the chopping board with breadcrumbs or oatmeal and roll golfball size pieces of the mixture around to coat.

  • Flatten into patties and fry until browned, server warm.

Rice: Prepare according to the pack

Health Benefits of the humble gooseberry available from may to late summer in the UK:

  • High vitamin C content

  • Good for diabetic patients

  • Boosts immunity

  • High in fibre and aids in digestion

  • Boosts liver health

  • Has cancer fighting properties

  • Aids absorption of nutrients.

For more articles on Shiatsu, Oriental Medicine and Food Energetics follow this link:

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