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*Instead of tomatoes, I use tamarind (size of 1 lime, soaked in water). If you are gravy lover, add more water before adding chopped tomatoes. This lentil curry is my own version and hope you'd enjoy it as everyone else. We Sri Lankans are very fond of lentil curry and we have this curry atleast a couple of times a week. Tamarind Pod is a tropical fruit that we sun-dry when they are ripe. Tamarind pod has a semi-hard [easily crackable] peel, and when you break the peel, you can see "sticky type" of pulp which has covered its seeds [like beads]. You can buy tamarind pulp in Asian Food Stores, and all you need to do is just break a small piece and soak in a little bit of water and squeeze the juice and use in the curry. I live in Cairns, Australia - and I recently found "tamarind pulp" [comes in 4"x4"x1" block, wrapped in clear plastic wrapping, which you can keep forever in an air-tight container and use whenever you need] in an Asian Food Store. Tamarind has a sour taste together with a bit of sweetness - but, you can easily substitute it with chopped well ripen tomatoes. Hope these information would be helpful to you.
- 1 cup red lentil, cleaned, washed
- 1 big onion, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 sprig curry leaf (optional)
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 2 dried red chilies (whole)
- 1⁄2 whole mustard seeds
- 1⁄4 fenugreek seeds
- 1 maggi soup cube (I use chicken or beef Maggie cube) or 1 pinch msg
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sri lankan curry powder (Recipezaar 17470)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Boil lentils till tender in 4 cups of water, turmeric powder, and Maggie (or MSG).
- Add chopped tomatoes, curry powder and cook further till tomatoes are done.
- When cooked, remove the lentils into a separate bowl.
- Rinse the sauce pan well, and re-heat it and add oil.
- Heat oil and add dry chilie, mustard seed and fenugreek seed.
- Do not let them burn as it may give a bitter taste.
- Add curry leaves, chopped onion and garlic.
- Fry till golden brown.
- Add lentil mixture, stir, adjust salt (you may add a bit of lemon juice to your taste).
- Cover and cook for about 3 minutes.
- Serve with plain boil rice and eggplant salad (Recipe #17599).