Recipe by Daydream
READY IN: 1hr 10mins




  • In a heatproof bowl, combine the tamarind pulp and 1 cup of boiling water, and let stand for 30 minutes. At the end of this time, squeeze and press the tamarind with your fingers to release as much pulp in the water as possible, then strain, discard the fibrous residue and seeds, and reserve the tamarind water.
  • Meanwhile, place the lentils in a deep saucepan, add the 3 cups of water and the turmeric, and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and gently cook, uncovered, until the lentils are just tender, 20 to 30 minutes. If the water evaporates too quickly, add another 1/2 to 1 cup in total.
  • While the lentils are cooking, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a small skillet, and saute the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, sambhar masala, dried red chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves, garlic and coconut, until the coconut becomes a golden brown - take care not to burn. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • When the lentils are tender, add the sauteed spice mix, along with the prepared vegetables, tomatoes and the tamarind water. Mix well, cover, and simmer until the vegetables are just tender. This should take 10 to 20 minutes, depending on how small or large you have diced the vegetables. As the tomatoes cook down, they should provide enough fluid to simmer the other vegetables in, but you can add another 1/2 cup water at your discretion.
  • Just before serving, heat the extra oil in a small skillet, and saute the sliced garlic and fresh cilantro for 30 seconds. Pour this mixture over the sambhar and mix through gently.
  • Serve immediately.