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Lentil, tamarind and date dhansak


I love this combination of earthy lentils, sour tamarind and sweet dates. The finished dhansak is so full of tang and flavour that you really need eat nothing else with it, save some couscous, quinoa or rice.


2-4 depending on what you are eating it with


  • 3 tsps garlic oil
  • 2 tsps cumin seeds
  • 3cm ginger, peeled and grated
  • 200g red lentils
  • 3 x 15ml tbsps tamarind paste from a jar
  • 750ml freshly boiled water
  • 75g soft dried dates, each one scissored into 8 small pieces
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Few sprigs of fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 tbsp of pomegranate seeds


Step 1: Heat the oil in a heavybased pan that has a lid and fry the cumin seeds for a few seconds. Add the ginger and stir for another minute or so.

Step 2: Add the lentils to the pan, stirring them into the cumin and ginger, then spoon in the tamarind paste and pour in the water.

Step 3: Tip in the chopped dates and the bay leaves and bring to the boil.

Step 4: Clamp on the lid, turn the heat down to very low and simmer the lentils for about 30 minutes, by which time they should have absorbed most of the liquid and will be soft.

Step 5: Serve with rice or couscous as desired and sprinkle the lentils with dill and pomegranate seeds.



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