Sambar is a popular dish in South India and Sri Lanka, consisting of lightly spiced lentils in a tamarind and coconut sauce. Serve hot with steamed rice. The ingredients should be available at any Asian shop. The tamarind pulp may be substituted with reconstituted tamarind paste.
Toor dal, the most widely used dal in India, will be available in your local Asian shop, or via the Internet. You could, however, substitute yellow split peas in a pinch. Channa dal are similar to chickpeas, but smaller, and split in half. They're similar to toor dal and also available at South Asian shops.
Just made this ... followed recipe to the letter, FAR too much tamarind - it is inedible. Avoid - or cut tamarind in half or more ... - 04 Dec 2012
We loved this and I will definitely make it again. I had tamarind concentrate so following reviews above didn't add too much. - 11 Aug 2015
what a treat - an authentic lentil recipe, quite sour but as it should be, the lentils take a good 1/2hour to soften, and plenty more water. I added 1/2tsp salt - 14 Jan 2014