Sunday, October 11, 2009

Indian Lentils and Tomatoes

When the weather turns cool I love to make Indian food. I don’t know why I equate Indian food with cool weather but I do. I love the complex flavor Indian food gets from the various spices. If you are looking for a lentil dish that doesn’t taste like your usual recipes this dish may fit the bill.

Indian Lentils and Tomatoes
Serves 6


1 cup red lentils, picked and sorted through
2 ½ cups water
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
4 teaspoons water to dissolve tamarind
3 tomatoes, diced
¼ teaspoon coriander seed
¼ teaspoon cumin seeds
4 black peppercorns
1 whole clove
1 tablespoon reduced fat and unsweetened coconut flakes
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon canola oil
½ teaspoon mustard seed
1/8 teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
12 fresh curry leaves


Cook red lentils in water until soft. Dissolve the tamarind in the water and add it to lentils and stir. Add the diced tomatoes to the lentils.

Combine the coriander, cumin, peppercorns, clove and coconut flakes to a saucepan and toast until the spices are fragrant and the coconut is browned. Allow the spices and coconut to cool before grinding in your spice grinder. Once ground add to the lentil and tomatoes.

Sauté the mustard seed, asafoetida and curry leaves in the canola oil until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add to the lentil and tomato mixture.

Serve hot with rice.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 156.39
Calories From Fat (21%) - 32.35

Total Fat - 5.48g
Saturated Fat - 0.56g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 14.9mg
Potassium - 527.93mg
Total Carbohydrates - 23.54g
Fiber - 4.57g
Sugar - 2.04g
Protein - 9.45g


I served this lentil dish tonight with the lemon cashew rice. The tamarind paste gives the lentils and interesting flavor. As with all Indian food this dish has a complex flavor from all the spices.


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