Bengal tiger lentil curry

This dish by Anjum Anand is named because of the deep golden-orange colour of the Bengal lentils
By Anjum Anand
Bengal tiger lentil curry
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-5
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 20 g ginger, peeled, half julienned
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 175 g Bengal gram (chana dal) lentils, rinsed
  • 75 g split black gram lentils, rinsed
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 tbsp vegetable oil, or 2 tbsp vegetable oil with 2 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ¾ tsp garam masala
  • ¼-1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • handful chopped coriander
  • 10-20 g butter, to serve (optional)


1. Place the chopped tomatoes into a food processor and blend until smooth. Grate the ginger and garlic into a small bowl.

2. Place the lentils in a large pan and cover with 7cm/3in of water. Bring to the boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes partially covered. Once the lentils are tender, add the ground turmeric and season to taste with salt. Keep cooking over a low heat, stirring occasionally.

3. Heat the vegetable oil in a medium pan and add the cumin seeds. Once the cumin starts to sizzle and darken, add the onions and fry for 4-5 minutes, or until the onions start to colour. Add the grated ginger and garlic and cook for a further 3-4 minutes, or until the ginger and garlic start to colour.

4. Add the blended tomatoes, followed by the ground coriander, ground cumin, garam masala and chilli powder. Cook for 10-15 minutes.

5. By now, the lentils should have broken down. Pour the spiced tomato mixture into the lentils, adding some boiling water if the curry is too thick. Bring to the boil, then season to taste. Stir in the chopped coriander and the butter (if using), until melted.

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