Deborah Ryan’s Lentil Dahl

Serves: 2
Course: Main Course
Cooking Time: 0 hr 50 mins
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tbsp garam masala (or else, 1 tsp turmeric, 1 tsp cumin and 1 tsp of paprika)
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup of red split lentils
  • 1 small sweet potato
  • Salt and Pepper
  • A handful of fresh coriander, chopped
  • Natural yogurt, to serve

I’m going to be honest here and say that I hate batch cooking. Look, I get it, it’s cheaper and you make multiple meals that save you a few hours of cooking. It seems to be the ideal solution for student cooking but I just can’t get on the bandwagon.

Mostly because I usually forget I have these meals in the fridge or freezer and that I also hate eating the same thing for a week. It makes me feel like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

The recipe below for lentil dahl is my only exception to this and I usually have a container of it in the freezer, even if it’s forsaken for weeks, maybe months.

I make this recipe a lot, especially when I’m skint, as it’s cheap and easy enough to cook.

I unintentionally batch cooking this as I never really pay attention to the measurements and bung it all in the pot, leaving me a lot leftover. I usually don’t cook rice to go with this,

I’m usually too lazy to dirty two pots and again, I always cook too much rice, not helping my batch cooking problem. The odd time I’ll get some wholemeal pitta bread, tear it into chunks and bake in the oven with olive oil, salt and pepper until crispy and serve it with the dahl.

In short: Sweat down the onions then add the rest of the ingredients and cook for 40 minutes. Feel oh so virtuous by having your meals ready for the week.

-Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large saucepan. Peel and finely chop the onion and add it to the pan with a pinch of salt. Cook on med-low heat until the onion is softened, about 15 minutes. Stir often, you don’t want the onion to take on that much colour. While you’re waiting, peel and chop the sweet potato into 1cm cubes.

-Peel and chop the garlic finely, and add it to onion. Cook for a minute or two before stirring in the garam masala.

-Turn the heat up to high and add the chopped tomatoes. Add two cups of water to the pot, along with the lentils and sweet potato.

-Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 30-40 minutes, stirring often. Add more water if you need to. The lentils will start to break down and get really creamy. Season at the end with salt and pepper and stir through the chopped coriander.

- Serve with a spoonful of natural yogurt.

-Leave the rest to cool and then pack it into containers and store in the fridge for three days or else in the freezer.