The Super Cheap Lunch To Make At Home To Last You All Week: Daal

Easy lunch idea: don't spank all your money in Pret, make a batch of this at home instead. It's nicer and it'll last you all week.

The Super Cheap Lunch To Make At Home To Last You All Week: Daal

by Joanne Gould |

It’s still January and it’s still a long way to go until payday. So, save yourself a few extra quid by not paying £4 for a fridge cold sandwich (WHY) every lunchtime this week and make a big old pot of this daal instead. It’s probably one of the cheapest things to make EVER and definitely up there as one of the nicest. This is our go-to dish for when we’re feeling sad, cold, ill, starving or all of the above. And the best thing about it? It’s properly healthy with giant doses of potassium, calcium, zinc, fibre, protein, folate and iron: you can’t beat a lentil. Wish we’d known about this when we were students instead of just eating toast 24/7.




250g chana daal (there are over 60 kinds of daal, but this one is nice. Also try moong daal, and red split lentils)

2 large cloves garlic - sliced

4 green chillis, 2 whole, 2 chopped

Heaped tsp turmeric

Heaped tsp ground cumin

Level tsp mustard seeds

Coriander and bread or rice of your choice to serve. We had puris.

What to do:

  1. Rinse the lentils in cold water until it runs clear, then put into a large saucepan with about a litre of water and two whole green chillis. Bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer. Leave it to do its thing for 45 minutes, checking occasionally to see if you need to top up the water.

  2. When the daal has the texture you are after – and this really is a personal thing as you can have it anywhere from soupy to thick and almost risotto-esque – heat two good tablespoons of ghee in a small pan. If you don’t have ghee then coconut oil is good, or even butter. Don’t use olive oil.

  3. Add the turmeric, cumin and mustard seeds to the melted fat. When the seeds start to ‘dance’ and pop about turn the heat down and add the garlic and chilli. Fry them briefly taking care not to burn the garlic.

  4. To finish, stir the spices into the lentils and sprinkle over some coriander if you don’t absolutely hate it. Oh, and use plenty of rock salt to season – it really needs it.

  5. Why not break up the week a bit by topping your daal with something different every day? We like crispy kale, garlic mushrooms or spicy chicken on ours but the possibilities are endless.

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Follow Jo on Twitter @JoEatsLondon

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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