RECIPES: Try these 3 budget-friendly meals

Published Sep 7, 2021


By Denisiya Hemraj

Chicken Dhall Gosht


Mixed lentils / Dhall Gosht Mix (¼ cup biryani dhall (masoor), ¼ cup red lentils, ¼ cup yellow pea dhall)

1 cinnamon stick

salt to taste

1 tsp garam masala

½ tsp jeera powder

1 onion, chopped

2 tbs chilli powder

1 tsp Za'ataar Blend (optional)

2 sprigs thyme

1 tsp ginger and garlic paste

2 bay leaves

1½ tsp turmeric powder

1 tsp dhania (coriander) powder

fresh dhania (coriander)

1 sprig curry leaves

2 jam/rosa tomatoes

1 tsp red chilli flakes

1 star aniseed

½ tsp soomph (fennel) seeds

3 tbs cooking oil

½ tsp jeera seeds (cumin seeds)

1 kg chicken


Place the mixed lentils/dhall gosht mix (which can also be found at local spice stores) into a bowl. Alternatively, if the pre-pack is not available, simply add the yellow pea dhall, red lentils and the biryani dhall (masoor). I have used the pre-pack for this recipe and the lentils already came coated in turmeric powder but it is not necessary to coat the individual lentils in them.

Give the lentils a quick rinse.

Add the lentils to a medium sized pot with a teaspoon of turmeric powder.

Cover with water.

Allow the lentils to come to a boil, keeping extra water on hand as the water will evaporate whilst boiling and you will need to add more as required. The lentils should take some time to soften up, so you will have to be patient.

When the lentils are soft, turn off the heat.

Empty into a bowl and set aside.

Cut chicken, rinse and place in a bowl.

Chop onion and set aside.

Blend or grate tomatoes and set aside.

Next, heat the cooking oil in a large pot. Add the onions, star aniseed, cinnamon stick, thyme, bay leaves, jeera seeds and soomph seeds.

Mix well and allow to simmer until onions are translucent.

Add the garam masala, jeera powder, dhania powder, turmeric powder, Za'ataar blend (optional), red chilli flakes, chilli powder and ginger and garlic paste.

Mix well and allow to simmer for 30 seconds.

Add the pieces of chicken and salt to taste.

Mix well and allow the chicken to simmer for 5 minutes to seal in the spices.

After 5 minutes, add the blended or grated tomatoes with a little water.

Mix well.

Allow the chicken to cook for about 25 minutes.

Once the chicken has cooked, add the cooked lentils.

Mix well and allow to cook for a further 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, add some chopped dhania.

Mix well and turn off the heat.

Plate and serve whilst hot.

I love serving my Chicken Dhall Gosht with hot pita bread. Although, this meal can be served with bread, rice or roti.

This Chicken Dhall Gosht stores well in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Braised herbs with potatoes


½ onion, chopped

½ tomato, chopped

3 dry chillies

2 potatoes

¼ tsp jeera (cumin) seeds

Cooking oil

3 cloves garlic

salt to taste

1 sprig curry leaves

1 bunch herbs (spinach, chard, watercress, moringa, silverbeet)

Fresh dhania (coriander), for garnishing


For this dish, I have used spinach herbs.

Thoroughly rinse the spinach and then begin chopping it up into small pieces. With this herb you may chop the stem as the stems of silverbeets and spinach are edible.

Once the herbs are chopped, place in a bowl. Give it a rinse and set aside until ready to use.

Chop the onion and tomato and set aside.

Peel and rinse potatoes, and chop into small cubes. Set aside in a bowl. Cover the potatoes with water. This prevents the potatoes from browning due to open contact with the air.

Peel the garlic cloves, rinse and cut them into halves.

Heat cooking oil in a wide pot and add in the chopped onion, curry leaves, jeera seeds and the garlic.

Break the dry chillies in halves and add to the pot.

Mix well and allow to simmer until the onions are translucent.

Add the chopped tomato. Mix and allow the tomatoes to cook until melted.

When tomatoes are cooked, add as much of the herbs that can fit into the pot.

Pour in a little water (I used boiled water) and mix. Notice how the herbs begin to wilt.

Once the herbs have shrunk, add more of it to the pot.

Mix once again and allow it to wilt.

Add the remaining herbs to the pot. It took me three add-ons of the herbs to the pot, but this may differ depending on the size of the pot that is used.

Add in a little water and mix. Do not add a lot of water as this dish may end up too watery. Add water in moderation. Cover with a lid and allow the herbs to cook for about 5 minutes until the stems are semi soft.

Next, add in the cubed potatoes, discarding the water it had been resting in. Add a little water to allow the potatoes to cook and also add salt to taste.

Mix well, cover with a lid and allow the potatoes to cook until soft.

When the potatoes are soft, give it a stir and make sure that the excess water has evaporated. If there is still a lot of water, then allow to simmer on medium heat until the water has diminished.

Once the water has evaporated, garnish with fresh dhania.

Serve this braised herbs with potatoes while hot.

Goes well with roti, bread, puri or rice.

Stores for up to a week.

BRAISED herbs with potato.

Bhindi Fry


½ onion

3 green chillies

300g bhindi (okra)

2 tbs vegetable oil

1 tsp cumin (jeera) seeds

1 tsp ginger & garlic paste

½ tbs turmeric powder

¼ tsp cardamom (elachi) powder

1 tbs chilli powder

1 tsp coriander (dhania) powder

salt to taste

1 tbs red chili flakes


Peel and chop the onion.

Rinse and slit the green chillies in half.

Give the bhindi a good rinse before cutting it into bite-sized pieces and discarding the stems.

On medium heat, add the vegetable oil to a wide pan, followed by the chopped onions, green chillies and the cumin seeds.

Next, add the ginger and garlic paste and turmeric powder.

Mix well.

Allow to sauté until onions are translucent.

Add in the sliced bhindi.

Add the cardamom powder, chilli powder, red chilli flakes, coriander powder and salt to taste.

Mix well, ensuring that the bhindi is coated in the spices.

Turn the heat up to high and allow the bhindi to fry.

Be sure to give it a stir every now and again, so that it does not burn.

Once the bhindi has reached your desired crispiness, turn off the heat.

Serve with bread, roti or enjoy as is.

Store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Bhindi Fry

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