Tamarind sambhar rice with coconut chutney

by Chetna Makan

A spiced Indian rice dish that’s ready in 30 minutes

This flavour-packed rice dish is a brilliant meal in itself. The beautiful flavour of the sambhar masala gives it all it needs to become a delicious meal. You have the option of serving this with some salad or chutney.


2 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp urad dal (spilt black lentils)
10 curry leaves
2 dried red chillies
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder
2 tbsp sambhar powder
250g basmati rice
1 tsp tamarind paste

For the chutney:
2 tbsp chana dal
150g fresh coconut, cut into small pieces
2 green chillies, roughly chopped
1 inch ginger, roughly chopped
6 curry leaves
1 tbsp sunflower oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dried red chillies


Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds, urad dal, curry leaves and red chillies. Let them sizzle for 1 min and then add the onions. Cook for 5 mins on a medium heat until they soften and start to change colour.

Now add the spices, rice, tamarind paste and 650ml boiling water. Mix well and bring it to the boil. Cover and cook for 15 mins, until the rice is done.

Meanwhile, in a pan, dry roast the chana dal for 2 mins. In a blender put the coconut, dal, chilli, ginger and curry leaves. Grind it to a smooth paste with a little water then tip into a bowl.

In a pan heat the oil and add the mustard seeds and chillies. When the seeds begin to pop, pour this oil over the chutney and mix well. Leave the rice to rest for 5 mins before serving with the coconut chutney.

Recipe: Chetna Makan