This mild curry tastes wonderful on a cold evening. This meal is filling and healthy as well as being really tasty.

Curried Red Lentil Balls in Tamarind Coconut Sauce

Serving Size: 4

Yield: 9 balls


for the sauce:

  • 1 can coconut cream
  • 3-4 tablespoons coconut flakes (not sweetened)
  • 2 tablespoons tamarind syrup or paste (not sweetened)
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon koetembar powder
  • 2 teaspoons asafoetida powder
  • pinch turmeric powder
  • salt and pepper

for the lentil balls:

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon asafoetida powder
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tablespoon cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon gram flour
  • curry leaves


to make the lentil balls:

  1. Saute the onions in 1 Tbs. oil until glassy.
  2. Add the red lentils, water bay leaves, 1 tsp. safoetida powder and a pinch of salt.
  3. Cook until the lentils are soft.
  4. Allow to cool.
  5. When the lentils have cooled, drain any excess water and add the cornmeal and gram flower.
  6. Mix to a stiff batter.
  7. Taste and season if needed with salt and pepper.
  8. Form the lentils into golf ball sized balls.
  9. Fry the lentil balls in the other 2 Tbs. of oil.

to make the sauce:

  1. In a separate frying pan.
  2. Pour the coconut cream, add the seasonings and coconut flakes and stir well to mix.
  3. Bring to a slow simmer.
  4. Season to taste.

Serve the lentil balls with the sauce and garnished with the curry leaves. Optionally serve with white rice.


I had seen a lovely picture of a meal that I would like to try at However it sounded rather complicated and we could not get all of the ingredients necessary. So I studied the recipe carefully and tried to make a “westernized version”. Perhaps it should be called fusion but whatever it’s called, this was a really delicious meal that we will enjoy more often in the future.