A household favourite, red lentil dahl is not only cheap at 47p per serving, but full of flavour.

prep time 5 mins     total time 30-60 mins      serves 4


  • 1 onion (£0.10)
  • 2 garlic cloves (£0.06)
  • 1 tsp each turmeric, cumin, chilli, coriander, garam masala, cinnamon
  • 400ml tin of chopped tomatoes (£0.33)
  • 350g red lentils (£0.62)
  • 900ml vegetable stock stock (£0.05)
  • 500g rice (£0.75)
  • (Optional) Lime/lemon, coriander


  1. Blend the onion and garlic together in food processor or blender (this step is not essential and can be omitted if you do not own one).

  2. Add the onion and garlic mixture with a splash of oil into a large pan on medium heat, and cook until transparent. Keep adding water as needed.

  3. Add all of the spices and cook for a couple of minutes, again, adding water if needed.

  4. Add in the chopped tomatoes, red lentils, stock and lemon juice, stirring together.

  5. Bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 20 minutes. Cook for up to 45 minutes if you have the time, as this will bring the flavours out even more.

  6. Serve with rice, a sprinkling of coriander and a squeeze of lime.


  • I usually serve red lentil dahl with a side of my favourite crunchy green vegetable: broccoli.
  • I often like to add in some extra water to the leftovers to make it into more of a lentil soup.