Lentil Sambar

READY IN: 1hr 20mins
Recipe by Sharon123

A colorful dish that pleases the eye and the palate. Make it as spicy as you dare! Great served with Mango Peach Chutney. This recipe is from Moosewood Restaurant's Low-Fat Favorites, a great cookbook.

Top Review by Jujubegirl

When I was making this, I was dubious about the amount of sauce to the vegetables because there are a -lot- of veggies. But once it all started really simmering, it worked out. I made it exactly as posted except that I had tamarind sauce instead of paste, so I just increased it a little. Didn't bother with rice, and next time I will try it with the mango peach chutney. PS--the recipe doesn't state what kind of lentils to use, so I used channa dal. Their spicy flavor really complemented the dish.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. Rinse the lentils, place them in a small saucepan with the 3 cups of water, and bring them to a boil.
  2. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 45 to 60 minutes, until tender.
  3. Stir occasionally, adding more water if necessary.
  4. While the lentils are cooking, chop the onion, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and bell pepper into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
  5. Warm the oil in a pot and saute the mustard, fenugreek, and cumin seeds on medium heat, covering the pot and shaking it occasionally to prevent burning.
  6. When the mustard seeds begin to pop, stir in the turmeric, coriander, cinnamom, cayenne, and chopped chile and saute for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  7. Stir in the tamarind liquid, then add the onions, cauliflower, sweet potatoes, and salt and combine.
  8. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  9. Add the bell peppers, cover, and continue to cook until all of the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
  10. Drain the cooked lentils and stir them into the vegetable mixture.
  11. Reheat if necessary, then stir in the cilantro.
  12. Ladle over basmati rice and serve with Mango Peach Chutney and a generous dollop of yogurt,if desired.

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