Lentil and vegetable curry

Lentils are a good source of protein, B vitamins, folate, iron and fibre. They have low glycemic index. Soybeans, which offer many health benefits, have been added to the traditional sambar.

  1. Wash and soak dhal in boiling water from the kettle for 3-4 hours. Drain. 

  2. Boil 4 cups of water in a large saucepan, add dhal, turmeric and 1 teaspoon oil. Bring to boil, reduce heat, cook, partially covered until dhal is very soft (30-50 minutes). Mash the cooked dhal with the back of a spoon, add soybeans and continue cooking on a low heat. 

  3. Grind sambar or curry powder, coconut and salt in a coffee grinder. Stir into dhal cooking on the stove along with tamarind paste. 

  4. Heat 4 teaspoons oil in a saucepan, add mustard seeds. When mustard seeds begin to pop, reduce heat, fry curry leaves, garlic and chilli. When chilli begins to turn light brown, add green beans, sauté for few minutes. Stir in tomato, add a little bit of water if necessary and cook until beans are tender (approximately 6 minutes). Remove from heat. 

  5. Add vegetable mixture to the dhal cooking on the stove and enough water to make the curry volume to about 1 ½ -2 litres, bring to boil, cook until vegetables are soft. Stir in coriander leaves.

Serve with brown rice or brown basmati rice.

Tips and variations: 

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice can be used instead of tamarind paste. 

  • Any cooked/canned beans can be used instead of soybeans. 

  • Swap green beans with any of your favourite vegetables. But using potato or sweet potato will increase the calorie and carbohydrate content of sambar.

  • Recipe is suitable for freezing and can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. 

Per serve: energy 1084 kJ (260 cal); protein 14 g; fat 10 g; saturated fat 3 g; cholesterol 0 mg; carbohydrate 22 g; fibre 10 g; calcium 82 mg; iron 2 mg; sodium 668 mg

Serves 4


½ cup thover dhal (yellow lentils)

½ teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon peanut oil or extra virgin olive oil + 4 teaspoons

1 cup canned soybeans, rinsed


2-3 teaspoons sambar or curry powder

1 tablespoon desiccated coconut

1 teaspoon salt

2-3 teaspoons tamarind paste


1 teaspoon black mustard seeds

2 tablespoons chopped curry leaves

2 large cloves garlic, crushed 

1 dry red chilli, halved

400g - 500g green beans, cut into pieces

1 large tomato, chopped 

½ cup chopped coriander leaves