Pujabi Dal & Buttered Paratha

Dal/Daal/Dhal various ways of spelling it..

Buttered paratha, more expensive than wraps because of the butter, but way cheaper than from an Indian takeaway.

Paratha for 6
250gms of flour either plain or chapati (atta)
splash of oil
4 to 6 tablespoons of ghee or butter
120 to 140ml of tepid water.
pinch of salt.
mix flour and salt then add oil, dribble water in slowly to make a dough, knead the dough for a few minutes, then leave for 5 minutes
Cut into 6, then flour surface well,
roll out into discs, then spread ghee or butter all over disc,
fold in half and spread butter/ghee on to the semi disc,
fold in half again so its like a triangle ish shape,
then roll out into a disc again, add butter or ghee to a chapati pan or frying pan, just the surface and cook paratha till it bubbles then spread more ghee on it and turn over cooking other side, about 2 min each side…




Punjabi dal
300gms of red lentils
3 chopped garlic cloves
2cm fresh grated ginger
2/3 chillis
teaspoon of salt
1 chopped onion
Teaspoon of cumin seeds
Teaspoon of black mustard seeds
5/6 curry leaves
2 teaspoons of garam masala
Handful of peas

Add the red lentils to a pan with chopped garlic cloves, fresh ginger and chillis, plus a teaspoon of salt and water about 600ml and cook for bout 20 mins.
In a frying pan fry a chopped onion with  cumin seeds, black mustard seeds and curry leaves until soft.
Then add the garam masala and cook for a couple of minutes more,
Add the onion mix to the lentils with a handful pf peas, cook for about 10 minutes more on a simmer.
Add dal to paratha, I also added some minted yogurt.



Very simple to do and it seems to be the in thing at the moment, tastes delicious too, I tend to fry it with garlic for 2 or 3 minutes and have in place of pasta or rice.

Tesco do it ready made for a price, I did 1 large courgette 25p for 2 tubs full.
Using a Julienne peeler so no fancy, bulky gadget.


I do it in advance and keep in the fridge.


Homemade Beef Stock from Bones.

Homemade beef stock has much more depth of flavour than stock cubes, and is healthier.
You can use bones from your joint of meat (chicken, lamb, etc) or you can ask your butcher for soup/stock bones, many will give you them for free.


Roast the bones first in an oven for about an hour on gas mark 6.


Then boil in a pan of water with celery sticks broken up for about an hour and a half,
I then strip off the meat and set aside for stew… (I did say I was a tight arse budget queen)


Back to the stock.
Put bones into a slow cooker with
Bay leaves (2 or 3)
Veg peel (I used carrot peel)
Quartered onion
Chopped celery
Teaspoon of peppercorns


Leave in slow cooker overnight, mine was in there a good 18 hours.


Strain, cool and freeze.


Pasta Frittata

This is great cooled and sliced, goes well in pack ups too, picnics, or just served warm with beans or salad.

200gms of macaroni pasta
Head of broccoli cut into florets
2 chopped peppers
1 chopped onion
3 crushed garlic cloves
Chilli flakes (optional)
Tin of drained sweetcorn or frozen
4 to 6 eggs depending on size
1 stock cube (veg or chicken)

Cook  pasta and broccoli in the same pan in stock & drain
Add to a bowl with chopped peppers, chopped onion, crushed garlic cloves and sweetcorn, Season with salt & pepper….
Add  beaten eggs and mix well.
Pour into oven/flan dish.
Bake for 30/40 minutes at gas mark 6.

Tuscan Bean Stew

Tuscan bean stew
2 garlic cloves 10p
1 carrot 5p
1 onion 10p
2 celery sticks 10p
800ml stock…. 3p for everyday stock cube
2 chopped toms 20p
Teaspoon of Italian mixed herbs
3/4 cubed potato (from a sack 25 kilo) say 10p
Butter beans if using a tin they are around 50p but i buy by the kilo dried and pre cook as its cheaper…£1.18 will serve 4

Fry the garlic, onion, carrot and celery till softened.
Add the stock and Italian herbs
Add the tomatoes, and potatoes
Cook until potatoes are soft.
Add the butter beans last and heat through.


Reducing Meat Intake.

One of the ways I reduce my shopping bills is to reduce our meat intake, so we do 3 meat free sometimes 4 days a week. We started with meat free Monday and went from there. It was a battle at first with the husband who used to think a meal wasn’t complete without meat, but after my persuading/nagging/pushing, call it what you will I won him over.
I started first with mince dishes, reducing the amount of meat I added say to a bolognese by adding less mince and replacing with red lentils, these are the easiest to start with as they are hard to detect in such dishes. Eventually I started with brown and green lentils which you can detect and he grew to like it.
Chilli, I did the same thing I started using less mince and more various beans, he is now a big fan of my 5 bean chilli with zero meat.
The hardest thing to convert him to were vegetable based dishes without meat such as a spinach and potato curry instead of a chicken curry, but by using my leftover scraps of chicken from previous meals which meant only a small amount in a curry with lots of spuds and lots of flavour, he was soon eating veg curries with zero meat.

Meat free Monday soon became 3 meat free days a week and sometimes more. We both still get to enjoy a roast dinner with meat or a chicken dish but not every day.
We both now enjoy meat free days.

Try it, even if its only one day a week, there are so many wonderful vegetables you can eat not to mention lentils and pulses, which are full of protein, add in your herbs and spices and you will end up with some wonderful dishes.

Loaded Jackets.


You can do these in advance for busy days.
As long as you have spuds you can always rustle up a meal.
You can stuff these with anything you like, the combinations are endless.

Large potatoes,  as few or as many as you need,
Chorizo, again as much as you need, chopped small
Cheese, grated.

Salt & oil your spuds
You can micro first to make it quicker
Then into hot oven, cook till crispy on the outside and soft inside.
Whilst spuds baking, fry your chorizo, onion and garlic, the chorizo releases a lovely oil.
Take out spuds, let cool.
Cut in half and scoop flesh, and mix chorizo, onion, garlic into the spud flesh.
Scoop back into skins.
Add grated cheese on top.
Back into oven for 10 minutes, gas mark 7.