Recipe Inspiration

Being a student and planning three meals a day EVERYDAY can get a little boring (and un-inspirational), so for my first post, I’ve chosen one of my go to ‘comfort-meal-batch-cook’ recipes. Just a general tip, I always browse ‘Mobkitchen’ for recipe ideas as they have some quick and easy meals for students and I do love a good Instagram student food blog stalk too.

Rish Jonnalagadda


Being Indian myself, I love daal, it’s something I have grown up with and being a student have grown to love cooking as it is so easy, cheap and can basically made with whatever you have lying in your cupboards! I use red split lentils which can be bought from most supermarkets or try a local Indian store nearby if there is one.

Tip –  buy a big bag, always cook lots and freeze leftovers. 


  • 1 large brown onion/ red/ 2 small of either diced (see, I just use whatever I have!)
  • 4-5 garlic cloves chopped up small/ 2 garlic cubes/ lots of garlic powder (frozen section of your local Indian store or big supermarkets)
  • OR if you buy ginger garlic frozen cubes, use 2-3 of these
  • 2 cups red split lentils
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon whole cumin seeds/ powder
  • 5-7 curry leaves if you have them (Dried or fresh or just don’t use)
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder/ garam masala/ dal powders (curry powder and garam masala can be found in most supermarkets (try the international food aisles) and the others you can buy from an Indian store and use every time you may anything Indian – trust me, worth the buy)
  • 1 stock cube – veggie or chicken (more flavourrr)
  • Fresh coriander makes a difference – half a packet chopped roughly (or could just use dried)
  • Salt, pepper and chilli powder to taste
  • +/- half a can coconut milk if you want a creamy version
  • +/- 1 bag spinach if you want some extra veggies


So usually I just wing daal every time I make it, it cannot go wrong, just add salt (my friends cringe as I have very active salt taste buds) and more Indian spices till it tastes right to you.

Tip – use a large saucepan as it doubles in size and you don’t want an overflow situation.

For a rough idea, use double the amount of water to daal and keep adding to avoid it sticking at the bottom.


  • Add oil to the pan and fry your spices and curry leaves for a minute or so to release the flavour (this is key!)
  • Add your chopped onion, garlic and ginger. Cook till the onion softens.
  • Add your lentils to the pan and cover with roughly 2-3 times the amount of water (it will absorb it all and more). If you want bittier daal or you’re planning on adding coconut milk, add less water.
  • Add your stock cube (I use knorr stock pots as I find them the best).
  • Add your curry powder and dal powder if you have any (try shan spice mixes from the Indian store or just garam masala).
  • Cover and let this all simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  • Keep checking and stirring in between. If it’s sticking, add a little water and re-cover.
  • When the daal has increased in size and softened, taste, add some salt and pepper till you like it. Then add any spinach if you want/coconut milk and let it simmer for 5 minutes or so.
  • To finish – add fresh coriander and stir through.
  • AND ENJOY! It’s all done. I love eating it alone or with rice or naan bread. A big batch goes a long way and you can freeze for those days you want something hearty and can’t be bothered to cook!

You can also add broccoli/kale/any random veggies you have leftover in the fridge depending on how long they take to cook e.g. carrots would probably do best added earlier with the lentils and left to cook (pack those veggies in!). The spices go a long way and can stay in your cupboard for any Indian inspired meal and are cheap.

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