Red lentil sambar curry

Red lentil sambar curry
Makes: 4 porties
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
  • 1 onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 10 gr fresh ginger
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tspn red curry paste
  • 1 tspn ground cumin
  • 1 tspn ground coriander
  • 1 tspn garam massala
  • 1 tspn curry madras
  • ½ tspn chilli powder
  • 20 gr tomato paste
  • 150 gr tinned tomatoes
  • 500 gr vegetable stock
  • 200 gr red lentils
  • 250 gr sweet potato
  • ½ aubergine
  • 1 bell pepper
  • 1 tbspn fresh coriander
  1. Peel and dice the onion and garlic. Peel and finely chop the ginger.
  2. Sweat the onion, ginger and garlic off in some oil without colouring until soft.
  3. Add the curry paste with the ground cumin, ground coriander, garam massala, madras powder and chilli powder , all to taste, and cook on low heat until they release their flavour.
  4. Wash, peel and dice the carrots. Add them to the pan and cook until soft.
  5. Add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, the red lentils and as much vegetable stock as needed to cover the lentils and bring to a simmer. On medium heat, simmer until half cooked.
  6. Dice the aubergine, peeled sweet potato and bell pepper and stir into the sauce. Simmer until the bot t he lentils and the vegetables are cooked.
  7. Season the sauce to taste with salt, pepper and some lemon juice. Garnish the sauce with fresh coriander and serve with naan bread or boiled rice.
Stuff to know
The lentils go in first since they take the longest to cook. Only add salt when the lentils are cooked since salt will keep the lentils from cooking through when added together. When cooked, they will disintegrate into the sauce and thicken the stew.
Add some cooked diced chicken for a non-vegetarian version.
Add some green peas to the sauce.
Frying off the curry paste and spices will release their flavour but do not burn them. The spices and seasoning is to taste.
Add some hot water if the sauce seems to dry. Bind the sauce if need be with corn flour mixed with some cold water.
Ideally, use the pataks cumin coriander mild curry paste for this recipe.
Sambar is reflective of a broad and ancient tradition of lentil-based vegetable stews in southern India.