Puy Lentils with Spices and Tamarind

Visit the Indian Food Glossary for information on the ingredients in this recipe
tamarind lentils

If you want an easy dish to whip up for a mid-week meal, you may want to consider this recipe if you enjoy some spice with your lentils. Just plain good for you, especially when served with a whole grain. I had a craving for brown rice and that is what I paired the dish with. Earthy and spicy, with a hint of sweetness from the addition of tamarind, you may also want to consider serving this with a raita. Because of the ease of preparation, this dish is especially welcome as the temperatures continue to soar here in southwestern Ontario. Don't let the rather long list of ingredients discourage you.

Puy Lentils with Spices and Tamarind Puy Lentils with Spices and Tamarind
Recipe by
Cuisine: Indian
Published on July 13, 2012

Spicy and tangy French lentils cooked with Indian seasonings — simple but full of flavor

Preparation: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 50 to 60 minutes

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  • 1 cup Puy (French) lentils, or any other lentil you have on hand
  • 2 tablespoons sesame or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced or crushed
  • 1-inch piece fresh ginger, minced or grated
  • 2 to 3 fresh green chilies, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • pinch of asafetida (optional)
  • 2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 5 to 6 sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste, seeds removed
  • 2 teaspoons honey, agave nectar, maple syrup or other sweetener (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • fresh parsley for garnish
  • Pick over the lentils for stones and rinse thoroughly in a strainer.

  • Heat the oil in a medium heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the mustard seeds and cumin seeds and cook until the mustard seeds turn grey and begin to splutter and pop. Immediately add the onion and stir for a few minutes to soften the onion. Now add the garlic, ginger and chilies, and continue to stir for another minute. Add the spices and asafetida if using, and stir for another minute.

  • Pour the stock or water into the pan and add the lentils. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until most of the water is absorbed and the lentils are tender — about 30 to 40 minutes, depending on the kind of lentil you use. Add more water if necessary.

  • Meanwhile, soak the sun-dried tomatoes in hot water for 20 minutes, then drain and chop. In a small bowl, combine with the tamarind, sweetener if using, and salt.

  • When the beans are tender, stir the sun-dried tomato and tamarind mixture into the pan. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  • Serve hot and garnish with fresh parsley.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

spicy tamarind lentils

More lentil recipes you are sure to enjoy from Lisa's Vegetarian Kitchen:
Spicy Lentil Quinoa Nut Loaf
Red Lentil and Toasted Walnut Tapenade with Olives and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Toor Dal Palak
Wild Rice and Asparagus Salad


Uma said...

looks so delicious. Nice dish.

Spandana said...

That looks really good. Nothing can beat simple lentils with spices on a cold evening.
Even I posted a lentils recipe yesterday :)