Per Serving: $0.60
Do you know what Dal means? LENTILS. Not exactly, but basically. Whether you're getting small green lentils (split peas), red lentils, or regular french green lentils, they're all capable of making a super easy and delicious Dal. (Among many other things - like Lentil Kabocha Stew, Hawaiian Lentil Sloppy Joes, Red Lentil Thai Stew, Spicy Lentil Lettuce Wraps, etc.)
I chose this recipe because I wanted to be able to make it with the Roti and Raita and see if a full meal from the cookbook could be easily made on a busy weeknight, and within budget. In reality, most people won't eat just one bowl of dal, instead, it would be paired it with rice or naan or raita, etc. Although the roti takes the most time to put together, it is still worth it! And I find that if you use spices you have on hand, you can save about 50 cents. As is, you can enjoy this trifecta for just $6.40. That's at least ¼th the price of takeout!
My finished product looks different because a) I used regular lentils instead of split lentils, and B) I cooked it slightly longer - into more of a curry than a stew - because I wanted to make wraps for my lunches. And might I add that two Dal-Raita-Roti wraps were delicious cold, and super filling for my lunch!
Below is the original recipe, but bear in mind that you can make any changes as you see fit. For example, we don't have green chilies here, so I opted for the ground chili spice that I had on hand. I also didn't have mustard seeds, so I did a little online research and replaced it with the whole grain mustard I have in the fridge (though you could use regular, or dijon as well). I actually didn't have to buy a single ingredient to make this recipe because you can get there with basic pantry fare! My changes are reflected in the recipe at the bottom of the post.
Thanks for sticking with us as we share a little insight into the world of truly cheap & frugal fare. And please be thankful each day if you have the means and ability to enjoy healthy, homemade recipes like those available in the Good & Cheap cookbook!
And you can still enter the giveaway on the post for Whole Wheat Raita!
Indian Lentil Dal
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin instead of seeds
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon chili powder instead of green chili
- 1 Tablespoon whole grain mustard instead of seeds
- 2 cloves garlic finely minced
- ½ inch ginger shredded or minced (about 1 Tablespoon)
- 2 cups lentils
- about 3 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt pepper to taste
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- fresh cilantro or fresh parsley
- Melt butter in large pot over low-medium heat and add onions. Let it cook for about a minute, then add the dry seasonings: cumin, turmeric, and chili powder. Stir well and add the mustard, garlic, and ginger. Let sauté for about a minute so it is fragrant.
- Add the lentils and enough water to cover them by about 1 inch (use less if using split lentils or split peas), which was three cups of water for me.
- Cover and cook about 25 minutes, or until most of the water is absorbed. Stir and taste, adding salt and pepper. If using, add the coconut milk now and let cook another 5 minutes.
- If you want stiff lentils for wraps, merely cook until all of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring often at the end to prevent it from burning on the bottom.