An authentic South Indian curry incorporating traditional spices including dried whole red chillies, fenugreek seeds, coriander and turmeric. The twist on the traditional sambar is the addition of cauliflower and green beans roasted in turmeric and black onion seeds.
Tip: If you prefer a milder curry remove the dried chillies before blending.
- 200g yellow lentils
- 1 tbsp ground turmeric
- 1 small cauliflower
- 150g green beans
- 2 tsp black onion seeds
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 3 cloves garlic finely diced
- 2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 2 whole dried red chilli
- 1 tbsp ground coriander
- 100g creamed coconut chopped into small chunks
- 40g tomato puree
- 1 tbsp tamarind paste
- 600ml water
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
- Place the lentils in a large pan and cover with cold water and stir in half of the turmeric, bring to the boil then simmer for 30-35 minutes until the lentils are soft.
- Meanwhile remove the outer leaves of the cauliflower, cut into small florets and place on a large baking tray. Trim the green beans, slice into three and add to the tray along with the remaining turmeric, black onion seeds and 1 tbsp oil. Toss everything together then transfer to the oven to roast for 10 minutes or until the cauliflower and beans are charred and roasted.
- Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and add the fenugreek seeds and whole chillies then fry for a minute until the seeds pop. Add the ground coriander and fry for a further 30 seconds. Add the onion and garlic and cook on a medium heat for 5 minutes until the onion is soft and golden.
- Drain the lentils and add half to the pan along with the tomato puree, the creamed coconut, tamarind paste and 600ml water. Stir over a gentle heat for about 5 minutes until the coconut has melted.
- Remove the pan from the heat and use a stick blender to puree the sauce until it is smooth. Finally add the roast cauliflower, beans and remaining lentils and return the pan to the heat ensuring that everything is piping hot. Add a splash of hot water if the sauce is too thick then season to taste.