A cheap Meatless Monday meal! – Red Lentil Tarka Dahl


I love economical meals, but for red lentil Dahl I reserve a special place. It’s spicy, warm, fills you up (thank you fibre)  and it’s quick and easy to make. Just the perfect meal for when your cooking time is limited.

Great for vegetarians and perfect for Meatless Monday’s!

Red lentils also cooks faster than other legumes while it soaks up all the wonderful flavours from the spices, and with only about 230 calories per cup it’s kind to the hips as well.

Don’t overlook this tiny legume on the super market shelves, it pack a punch in the nutrition department! One cup of  lentils provide you with almost 40% of your recommended daily value of protein.

Besides the fibre, magnesium, folate and Vitamin B,  Lentils really help balance your blood sugar levels while providing a slow burning energy keeping your blood sugar level in balance which is great news if you have insulin resistance, hypoglycemia or diabetes.

There’s just no denying, you cannot afford not to add this red lentil Dahl to your recipe repertoire this autumn.


Serves 4 – 6

2 tsps Cumin seeds

1 medium onion finely chopped

*2-3 cloves garlic finely chopped

*Thumbed sized fresh ginger grated

2 tsps Turmeric

1 tsps Garam masala

1 tsps Ground coriander

1 x 500g packet red lentils (rinsed)

4 – 6 tomatoes chopped or liquidised  

Knob of butter/margarine for frying

*replace the fresh garlic and ginger with  2 tsps store bought garlic and ginger paste.

Your traditional Dahl recipes will cook the lentils first and add the rest of the ingredients later.

This is just a quicker method, using the least amount of cooking utensils and one pot to save you time!

Heat a large pot and roast your cumin seeds. Add a knob of butter and the onions, garlic and ginger and saute’ until the onions are translucent.

Add the ground coriander, garam masala and turmeric. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook it for +- 3 minutes. Add  1.5 liters of water and your packet of lentils.

Cook on medium heat with the lid on until the lentils are soft. Add more water if needed and stir frequently.

You should have the consistency of porridge.  It’s really up to you how thick you like your Dahl, if you are serving it with rice you can have a thicker consistency. Season with salt to taste and serve with Naan bread or rice or on it’s own for a super healthy low carb meal.

red lentil dahl



For a creamier Dahl you can add 2 tbsp. Greek or plain low fat yogurt to your pot of Dahl just before serving. Mix it through thoroughly and dress with some freshly chopped Coriander leaves.. Divine!  

Red lentil Dahl freezes well, why not make a larger batch and freeze some for a quick heat and eat meal in the middle of the week. Simply thaw in the fridge overnight and reheat.