x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 January 2018

30 in 30: Dal

A meal for two that costs less than Dh30, ready in no more than 30 minutes.

Fresh ingredients

1 onion

1 bulb of garlic

1 small bunch of coriander

Dry ingredients

250g massor dal (red lentils)


ground cumin

Total cost Dh27.10


Wash the lentils under water until the water runs clear, then place in a large pan. Cover with 650ml of cold water and bring to the boil. Skim off any of the scum that rises to the surface, reduce the heat and add a teaspoon of turmeric and a pinch of salt. Simmer uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally and adding more water if you think it is necessary. Season with salt.

Peel and thinly slice two garlic cloves and the onion. Heat a couple of tablespoons of oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and onion and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 to 15 minutes, until golden brown and crisp. Add a teaspoon of cumin and cook for a couple more minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in a handful of chopped coriander.

Beat the lentils well with a wooden spoon. Divide the mixture between two warmed bowls, top with the spiced onions, garlic and coriander mixture and serve.

The Dh30 recipe works on the premise that you already have the most basic of store cupboard or fridge staples - items such as oil for cooking and dressing, vinegar, butter, salt and pepper - at your disposal.