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Elaine Baines’ Two Day Poverty Lentils (or When Is Payday?)

Updated: Jun 4, 2020

I love this recipe because you can adapt it to whatever you have in the cupboard or fridge and it makes two good meals for 1. Doubling up gives you plenty for the freezer or a family meal.



1 large carrot diced

1 medium onion chopped

Couple of sticks of celery finely chopped

Clove of garlic chopped

Half cup red lentils

Stock cube dissolved in about ½ pint water

ground cumin, coriander, garam masala to taste

A little oil

Optional extras:

1 inch knob of ginger grated

Coconut cream / milk


Fresh coriander to serve


1) Sweat the onions in some oil until just turning golden

2) Add garlic and spices and cook gently for a few minutes

3) Add veg and lentils and turn around in the spices to get well coated ( at this stage also add chilli & ginger if using )

4) Add enough stock until everything is covered ( at this stage add coconut cream if using but reduce amount of stock)

5) Simmer gently until the lentils are soft. The lentils will absorb the stock so keep stirring to stop the bottom sticking and you might need to add further liquid as you go along.

6) When lentils are cooked stir vigorously so that the lentils drop and form a nice thick dahl.

7) If using add chopped coriander just before serving.

DAY 1 eat the dahl with rice and a nice chutney

DAY 2 add water to the remaining dahl and heat well to make a lovely comforting soup


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