Pairing red lentils with a medley of herbs and spices, this Indian-inspired recipe is packed with rich and fragrant flavours for a truly delicious side dish. You can rustle it up in under an hour.
Heat the oil in a large pan set over a medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, ginger and coconut. Season well and cook for 10 minutes, or until golden.
Add the turmeric, curry powder or garam masala, and tamarind. Cook for 1 minute, then tip in the lentils and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 15 minutes, or until the lentils have softened. Season to taste, then remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, prepare the spiced oil. Heat the oil in a small frying pan set over a low heat. Add the shallots and fry for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden.
Stir in the cumin seeds, mustard seeds, chilli flakes and curry leaves (if using). Cook for a few minutes until you hear the mustard seeds pop, then remove from heat. Spoon the spiced oil over the sambar. Serve with lime pickle on the side, if you like.
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