Quickest-ever Dahl for under $5

It may be the fastest recipe for this famous dish, but it’s just as tasty. Red lentils cook very quickly, are easy to digest, and lovely and creamy, so they’re a perfect choice. I normally make the sauce as the lentils cook. It does mean washing two pans but it saves time. This is delicious with Indian bread, rice and … well, everything!


  • 50g red lentils
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 lemon, juiced
  • plain yogurt, to serve (optional)
  • small handful coriander leaves, chopped


For the sauce

  • 1/2 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 very small onion, chopped
  • 2 fat garlic cloves, grated
  • 1 smallish tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder
  • salt


Bring the lentils to a boil in a saucepan. Once the scum rises to the top, skim it off and add the turmeric. Leave to simmer while you make the sauce.

For the sauce, heat the oil and butter in a frying pan and add the cumin seeds. Once they darken, add the onion and cook until soft and colouring on the edges. Add the garlic and cook gently for one minute, then add the tomatoes, spices and some salt, and cook until the tomatoes soften and the whole thing reduces into a paste and releases oil back into the pan … around 15 minutes.

Add the masala to the lentils, making sure you get all of it out of the pan. Cook the lentils for another six to eight minutes or so, or until the whole thing comes together and looks homogenous. It should neither be too thick nor too watery.

Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding a good squeeze of lemon juice. Serve in warmed bowls, topped with a swirl of yoghurt and the coriander.

Recipe taken from Anjum’s Quick & Easy Indian by Anjum Anand
Anjum Anand reveals the simple way to serve up the delicious flavours of India at home … fast. Here are more than 100 new quick and easy Indian-inspired recipes, for vegetarians, pescatarians and omnivores alike. Learn to shop smart for the Indian cook’s time-saving secret ingredients, and discover how to make three great meals with just one store cupboard ingredient. Feed the family, enjoy Indian tapas with drinks, or create a comforting, easy supper after a busy day at work … it’s all here. Anjum’s recipes make cooking wonderful Indian food at home both simple and fun.

You can buy Anjum’s Quick & Easy Indian at cooked.com.

Published by Quadrille Publishing.

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Amelia Theodorakis
Amelia Theodorakishttps://ameliatheoodorakis.godaddysites.com/
A writer and communications specialist with eight years’ in startups, SMEs, not-for-profits and corporates. Interests and expertise in gender studies, history, finance, banking, human interest, literature and poetry.
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