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Lentils with tamarind sauce

Neil Perry
Neil Perry

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

Main ingredient:
Lentils, Onion/Leek, Tomato
Cuisine:
Indian
Occasion:
Family meals, Midweek dinner

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