07 December 2012,02:04 by
Ponmathi Srilekha.S

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Serves :

Preparation Time :
45 minutes

Cooking Time :
30 minutes

Preparation Method :

  • Put the lentils in a big pan with 1 litre of water and bring to a boil. If any scum forms on top, skim it off. Add the turmeric.
  • Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils are really soft and starting to break down; it should take around 20 minutes. Add the aubergines (if using) and continue cooking gently.
  • Meanwhile, make the tarka. Heat the oil in a small saucepan. Add the mustard, cumin and sesame seeds, split black lentils (if using), cloves and whole dried chillies. Once the mustard seeds have stopped popping, add the curry leaves and, a beat later, the onions.
  • Cook gently until the onions are soft and starting to colour. Add the tomatoes, okra (if using), ground coriander and salt. Stir-fry for four minutes and, once the tomatoes start to soften, pour everything into the lentil curry.
  • Add the tamarind, coconut and sugar (if using). Add the green beans (if using) and simmer for five minutes, or until your vegetables are done. Taste, adjust the salt, sugar and tamarind, then serve.



  • 220 grams split pigeon pea lentils, well washed
  • ΒΌ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoon unsweetened desiccated coconut


  • 2 tablespoon Cooking oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoon split and husked black gram
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 dried red chillies
  • 12 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 small onions, finely sliced
  • 2 tomatoes, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt, to taste

For the vegetables (optional)

  • 3 small aubergines, halved lengthwise then cut across into 3
  • 9 okra, topped, tailed and halved widthways
  • Handful of green beans

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