Lentils with tamarind sauce

all details

This lentil dish is easy to prepare and has all the wonderful flavours that Indian cooking has to offer.

A warming Indian vegetarian curry to lift your spirits.
Photo: William Meppem

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup light vegetable oil
  • 1 cup thinly sliced onion
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 cup tamarind water (available from Asian grocers; or to make your own, see below)
  • 2 cans cooked lentils, drained and liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground roasted cumin
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 4 red shallots, finely sliced

Method

Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pan over a medium heat.

Add the onion and fry until it is lightly browned, stirring so it doesn't stick and burn.

Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the turmeric and paprika and cook for a moment.

Add the tomatoes and ginger and cook for a further 5 minutes.

Add the tamarind water and the reserved lentil liquid.

Simmer the mixture, covered, over a low heat for 15-20 minutes.

Add the lentils, garam masala and cumin and cook for about 3 minutes or until the lentils are heated through.

Check seasoning, place in a bowl and sprinkle with shallots.

Serve with steamed rice or a rice pilaf.

Tamarind water

Soak 1 cup tamarind pulp in 1 1/2 cups boiling water for 20 minutes, then strain it.

Serves 4

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  • Main Ingredients - Lentils, Onion/Leek, Tomato
  • Cuisine - Indian
  • Occasion - Family meals, Midweek dinner

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4 reviews so far

  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Back to the drawing-board with this one, Neil. A bit like a chicken curry without the chicken - completely one-dimensional and without the exotic feel of a good tamarind curry complemented by an appropriate sweetness, either jaggery or palm sugar. The tinned lentils are a HUGE mistake; the organic Italian ones I bought had the flavour of a soggy shoe-box. If I were ever to make this again (unlikely) I would cook my own lentils with a robust vegetable stock. I am heartily sick of celebrity carnivore chefs (!) who think they are doing vegetarians a favour by concocting this sort of fare. Stick to your flesh, Neil. Vegetarians everywhere will thank you.

    Commenter
    stez
    Location
    Date and time
    April 30, 2013, 1:57PM
  • Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

    Loved it. So did guests, who were a combination of meat eaters and vegetarians. Have made it twice since.

    Commenter
    Fish eating vegetarian
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    July 27, 2013, 1:05PM
  • Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

    This looks really good and much better than recipes on some "serious" vegetarian sites. But why tinned lentils? They are reasonably quick cooking.

    Commenter
    Jirob
    Location
    Date and time
    July 30, 2013, 8:32PM
  • Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

    Why canned lentils? you can cook your own in 15 or 20 minutes. Would be interested if you tried this dish with fake canned food vs fresh ingredients? I know which of the two i'd prefer.
    PS; stick with your usual fat, grease and meat brah, save the vegan and vegetarian dishes for people who know what they're talking about.

    Commenter
    Sean_
    Location
    Date and time
    November 11, 2013, 6:58PM

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