You’ll love this money savvy Dal

This lentil dish is spicy, warming, nutritious, protein packed and a fantastic budget meal for when you need to stretch your money a bit further! 😀

Where do I get lentils?

More and more supermarkets are now stocking a wider range of lentils so you can easily add these to your weekly shop. I have used Yellow Mung Dal in this recipe, which I picked up in my local Asian store. If you can find mung dal they’re a tasty change from regular red lentils (although these would work just as well).

It’s easier than you think!

Many people have told me that they only have pre-made Indian style food (from a restaurant, takeaway or meal-deal) and would never even attempt to cook their own… please try! 🙂 It really is easy to make delicious foods with just a few simple spices and a great recipe! 😛 Just think of all that money you can save too by making your own (not to mention all that packaging you will save too)! 🙂

Restaurant style food at home!

How do I make it taste authentic?

The trick to Indian style food is to cook the spices before adding the food! This allows time for the spices to release their flavours and make your food go from mediocre to amazing almost instantly! Never underestimate the power of a selection of spices to making your food taste great! I used to only have mixed herbs, a curry powder and hot paprika or chilli! When I discovered the difference spices made to my food, I got a much wider selection! 😀

Storing and using Spices

Most spices should keep for a year or two in an airtight container – you just might need to use a bit more to get the same flavour towards the end of their life. There are a few companies now who are selling spices in eco-friendly containers, so shop around before buying your herbs and spices in single-use plastic bags! 😀 What you could also do, is get together with a few friends, buy more varieties than you would normally and then share them out. We decant our spices into pots with airtight lids like these (if you click & purchase from these links we do receive a small commission at no cost to yourself).

Do I have the ingredients?

Of course, if you want to make this right now and only have a mixed curry powder, that will work too – just cook it a bit in the oil before adding the onion! Right, let’s look at the recipe!

Mung Dal

Spices and lentils combine to make a fantastically fragrant dish – ideal as a main with a side of rice or naan bread.

Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: lentils,
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
  • splash of oil of choice
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (or buy mixed panch puran seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon ajwain seeds (or buy mixed panch puran seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds (or buy mixed panch puran seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon kulonji seeds (or buy mixed panch puran seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon fenugreek seeds (or buy mixed panch puran seeds)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
  • 2 teaspoons coriander powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 500 grams lentils (yellow mung dal or other pale coloured)
  • 2.5 litres water
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat (or melt the oil in a large pan) then add the seeds (mustard, ajwain, cumin, kulonji, fenugreek). Watch them carefully and when they start to pop, start to move them around the pan whilst adding the remaining spices (garlic, chilli, coriander, turmeric, paprika, cumin powder).

  2. Add the diced onion, still stirring, then add the lentils and mix until everything is combined.

  3. Gently pour in the water, give a good stir, cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  4. Check the lentils and add more water if necessary. Season to taste. The lentils should have expanded and started to dissolve. Cover and cook for a further 5 minutes. Do a taste test and add more salt if required. Enjoy!

What shall I serve it with?

You can serve the dal with rice or bread, or make a few more dishes such as these delicious pakoras, a spicy chickpea dish or even some tofu steaks!? The dal will store in the fridge for up to three days and the taste improves the longer the flavours develop.

Make some pakoras and dip them in the dal!


If you read my last post (or you know me personally), you will probably know that I am taking part in the #FoodSavvy challenge in collaboration with Suffolk and Norfolk County Councils and the environmental charity Hubbub. As an ambassador for this challenge, I’ve spent this week telling everyone about this great campaign! The idea is to reduce your food waste as well as reducing your single-use plastic.

Week 1

Now, this week has been all about monitoring – to set a base for the following weeks. The food waste we are pretty good at as we tend to: check what we have before shopping; use leftovers for lunches or add them to other dishes, and we’re not too fussy about best before dates (use by dates are different)! However, I’m a bit astounded by how much single-use plastic we’ve used this week! One piece at a time doesn’t seem to be very much, but we’ve been saving it all to see how much we’ve actually used… all will be revealed soon!


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Weekend Plans…

I thought this weekend I should visit Fiesta Friday again! 🙂 Come over and see what it’s all about! You’ll find loads of delicious ideas, hints and tips and meet some lovely bloggers! The party this weekend is co-hosted by Liz @ Spades, Spatulas & Spoons Have a look around, maybe get some Valentines ideas or some recipe options you hadn’t considered which will help you towards your less-single-use-plastic waste! Leave some comments for the hosts and other bloggers, even volunteer yourself to be a co-host! 😀

Whatever you are up to, have a fantastic weekend – try to be mindful about your food waste and single use plastic, and drop me a comment below to say hello! ⬇️⬇️⬇️

Speak soon

Laurena x


  • Eva Gallon 8th February 2020 at 12:55

    At usual, this looks delish☺Thanks for the tip about cooking off spices at the beginning; a lot of recipes I come across say to add them after the tomato or coconut sauce which sounds a bit ‘wrong’ lol. I prefer to use a blend of spices these days, so much better than generic curry powder (in my humble opinion). This week has made me realise how much plastic I use too, it’s all around us?I have used a few plastic bags for wet umbrellas when I’ve been out and about, and will be taking them to the recycling skip today. Have a nice weekend ?

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 8th February 2020 at 13:25

      Thanks Eva, cooking the spices at the start really makes a difference! I sometimes add powdered spices after tomatoes, but only if I’m after a different taste (& usually after popping the seeds!) Yes, when we pay attention to what we use, we realise how much single-use plastic is about. I will write some tips in another post! Do you go to the recycling skip every week? What other plans do you have this weekend?

  • Eva Gallon 8th February 2020 at 16:55

    Yes, I feel a little embarrassed to say we go to the recycling skip practically every Saturday lol (and to think we never recycled anything when living in Spain, there was nothing really available where we were). Weather’s more on the chilly side this weekend so it’ll be a cosy time indoors, hibernating?. I hope Storm Ciara doesn’t come your way?

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 10th February 2020 at 12:36

      Ah… it’s better to go to the recycling centre than to throw it all away though!!! 😀 Can you take anything there? Our local recycling centre even has a shop selling stuff to reuse! 🙂 Storm Ciara was eerily noisy… not too much damage as we tied everything up! Hope it’s all okay over there!

  • Liz 9th February 2020 at 20:26

    Thanks for sharing this delicious recipe with us at FF.

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 10th February 2020 at 12:41

      Thank you Liz, I hope you get a chance to try it! Thanks very much for co-hosting!

  • Eva Gallon 10th February 2020 at 12:44

    You can take almost anything there: any kind of plastic to metal goods, polystyrene and old leaves. If we had a real Xmas tree (like everyone seems to here), we would’ve taken it there too. We don’t have a shop there but what a great idea?

    • Laurena@LifeDietHealth 10th February 2020 at 13:05

      Aghhh… polystyrene! Why is there such a thing!!! I wish we’d had a tree just so I could have the scent – I would’ve bottled it and used it in my cleaning products! 🙂 The money from the shop goes to charity so it really is a great idea! 🙂


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