Tamarind is a fruit indigenous to Africa that grows in long pods and has a pleasingly sweet and sour taste. Our Executive Chef's recipe for tamarind lentils at The Oyster Box hotel is a moreish blend of savoury and tangy and is the perfect dish to serve when catering for vegetarians or vegans. Alternatively, ‘this dish is the perfect accompaniment to have when enjoying tandoori chicken, and is best eaten with pickled lime.’

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  • ½ of a large onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 5 curry leaves
  • 1tbsp butter
  • 8 grams paprika
  • 8 grams fresh garlic
  • 2 grams fresh ginger
  • 2 grams cumin seeds
  • 8 grams garam masala
  • 18 grams mix masala
  • 15 grams tamarind paste
  • Fresh coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 500g black lentils pre-soaked


  1. Begin by boiling the black lentils until soft.
  2. In a pan, braise the onions and cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds start to pop, add the ginger, garlic, curry leaves, paprika, mix masala and garam masala and fry well.
  3. Add tomatoes, then leave to cook.
  4. When the oil starts to surface, add in the boiled lentils and tamarind.
  5. Stir in the butter before adding salt to taste.
  6. Garnish with fresh coriander before serving.