Butternut squash, aubergine and red lentil sambhar

I recently made uputtam and this was one of the accompanying side dishes that went with it.

Let me just say one thing, this was one of the most hardest dishes to get my parents to eat.

It is a very similar dish to one that we make called puli curry the ingredients are almost exactly the same, the only difference is that the puli curry does not have red lentils in, where this does.

So when I dished this up for my parents there were complaining that it didn’t have the puli curry kick like it normally has when I make it and the more I kept telling them that it is not puli curry the more they were complaining.

The greenbeans were not as soft as normal, the  tamarind was sour enough and where was the gem squash.

I eventually gave up trying to explain it to them and I just dished it up.

I loved it, but it didn’t go down that well with the old timers.

I gave the left overs to my dad for lunch and when he came home, his lips were hanging when it became to much for me, I gave in and asked him how was lunch to which he replied soo sad, I gave him vegetables for lunch and he wasn’t fasting, where was the meat?

Parents I tell you.


  • 200g x red lentils.
  • 4 x tbsp. grapeseed oil.
  • ¼ x tsp methi seeds.
  • 2 x tsp coriander seeds.
  • 1 ½ x tsp cumin seeds.
  • ¾ x tsp mustard seeds.
  • 12 x curry leaves.
  • 2 x onions, finely chopped.
  • 250g x butternut, cubed.
  • 1 x aubergine cubed.
  • 1 x tin chipped tomatoes.1 ¾ x tsp salt.
  • 2 x tsp tamarind paste.
  • 1 ½ x tsp masala.
  • 200g x green beans, chopped.


  • Boil the lentils in water till soft, drain and set aside.
  • Heat a pan and add the methi seeds, coriander seeds and cumin seeds.
  • Fry for a couple of minutes till they let off aromas.
  • Remove from the heat and crush coarsely.
  • Heat the oil in a pot.
  • Add the mustard seeds and allow to start popping.
  • Add the onions and saute till transparent.
  • Add the curry leaves and chopped tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy and have released all their juices.
  • Add the butternut cubes and a little water to make a nice gravy.
  • Cover and cook till the butternut starts to soften.
  • Add the aubergine and a little more water.
  • Allow the mixture to come to the boil.
  • Add the red lentils and all the remaining ingredients.
  • Cover and cook till the greenbeans are soft and the gravy has thickened and reduced.

Tell me what you think of this recipe