Is your tummy rumbling yet?

Is your tummy rumbling yet?

Courgette dhal with a six minute egg

105cals for the dhal, complete dish 194cals

Makes 4 portions

Warming, comforting dhal – gently fragrant and full of goodness. This recipe is very filling, gluten free, vegan (if you leave out the egg) and really, really delicious.
The dhal recipe makes four portions. Cook it, divide it up and be ready and prepared for fast days.  It freezes brilliantly and just needs some quick accompaniments and you’ll have dinner on the table in 10 minutes.
Learning how to batch cook and do the maths needed to divide up the dhal into exactly equal portions is a great skill to learn, especially for fast days. You’ll find directions for this at the end of the recipe.
Once your freezer is stocked up, you’ve got a fast day friendly dinner ready to go. Defrost in the fridge during the day while you’re out and reheat on the hob until piping hot, stirring frequently.
If you’re not on a fast day (or you want to eat with someone who’s not) wilted buttery greens and naan bread is a great combo with the dhal. It’s also delicious with fish.


For the dhal:
120g onion, finely chopped
1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed or very finely chopped
20g root ginger, finely grated
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp black mustard seeds
1/4 tsp curry powder
180g (dry weight) red lentils, rinsed well in a sieve under a running tap
Pinch of Malden salt
10g Marigold vegetable bouillon powder
400g grated courgette

To top (for each portion):
1 egg
5g finely sliced spring onion
A few sprigs of coriander
1 lemon wedge
1g toasted sesame seeds or furikake


To make the dhal, first heat the oil in a medium saucepan over a medium heat and soften the onion. When it starts to turn translucent, add the ginger and garlic. Stir well and once they start to release their aroma, add all the spices. Stir well and add a splash of water if they start to catch. After a minute or so, add the lentils and the salt and stir well. Add the vegetable bouillon powder and 500ml boiling water. Cook until the lentils turn pale yellow (approx. 10 minutes over a medium heat). Add the grated courgette and 300ml more boiling water. Simmer over a medium heat for 10 more minutes until the courgette is tender and the lentils are cooked, adding more water if it seems too dry. You want it pretty wet.
The dhal is now ready and you can eat it straight away, chill it or freeze it. Whatever your plans for the dhal, you need to divide it up into exactly equal portions.
First, calculate your calorie count (the total of all your ingredients, using an online tool or an app like ) and do the maths as follows:
First, you need to put a big bowl on the scales and tip the whole lot in. Note the total. I had 1228g. Lay out your containers (old plastic takeaway boxes are perfect) and decide how many portions you want to make. I made four tubs with 307g in each and it looked perfect for me but you choose. Work out the total number of calories for the entire recipe then divide up. In my case, I calculated 420 so 420/4 = 105cals per portion. And we're done!

To make the #6minuteegg, I always use Clarence Court Burford Browns. They taste amazing and look unreal. They’re widely available and worth every penny. I like to cook my eggs medium, so the yolk makes a sort of dressing. Make sure your egg is at room temperature before you cook it. Bring a pan of water to the boil. Lower your egg in gently. Cook for 6 minutes. After 6 minutes, remove the pan from the heat and pour away the hot water, holding your egg back with a spoon, sit the (now dry) pan in the sink and turn the cold tap on, blasting the egg until it is cool enough to handle. Roll the egg on the counter, pressing down gently, until the shell cracks all over. Peel very carefully. Set to one side. When you’ve heated up and plated your dhal, hold the egg over your bowl to catch any drips and use a very sharp knife to cut it in half, lengthways. Sit the egg halves on top of your dhal.


Heat and plate up the dhal. Top with the egg. Garnish with sprigs of fresh coriander, finely sliced spring onion, a wedge of lemon to squeeze over and a sprinkle of furikake or toasted sesame seeds.

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