Recipes good for diets: Daal

It’s been an interesting few weeks since I started my diet. One of the obvious moves one makes on any kind of diet is to do more home cooking. Lentil soup cooked in a pressure cooker has long been one of my staple meals – but it can get a bit boring week after week!

Daal, that standard meal across the Indian subcontinent offers a really cheap and easy meal. It’s tasty and nutritious and I thought I would give it a go.

Responding to a Twitter request for good daal recipes, HealthyMealKitz put forward the following recipe (as the twitter name suggests, she’s a bit of an expert). 


350g split lentils washed and drained (I used red ones)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1tsp peeled and grated ginger

1tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 dried chillies (you could use fresh)
2 cloves garlic peeled and chopped
Fresh coriander


1). Place lentils in a large saucepan with the turmeric ginger and 2 pints water. Stir and bring to a simmer but don’t let it boil. Skim off any scum that comes to the surface. Continue to simmer for 35-40 mins stirring a few times during cooking. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2) put some oil in a small frying pan and place on a medium to high heat.  Add the cumin and mustard seeds and as soon as they start to pop add the chillies and garlic. Stir and cook for 1-2 mins and then add to the lentil mixture

3) return to the heat season well and bring to the boil.  Remove from heat, stir in the coriander and serve. 

I like recipes that are fool-proof! This one works So well. A trick I learned from an Indian cook is to “plunge” the hot oil (with the garlic, chillies, cumin and mustard seeds) into the lentils at the end of the recipe and stir the whole thing vigorously…the gorgeous smells will fill the kitchen!

Easy, cheap, and nourishing – the whole meal if served with boiled rice will cost no more than a pound or so.

Always interested in adding more cheap and nutritious recipes to this blog and if they sound low in fat and delicious too,I will be cooking them too 🙂


About onlydads

Single Dad living near Totnes in Devon. I founded in 2007 and live with my daughters Priya, 14 and Anya 11. I write about single parenting, work, overcoming trials and tribulations and sometimes not overcoming trials and tribulations.
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