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Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Dahl served in a white bowl garnished with lemon on a rustic wooden table.

Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Dahl

It's halfway through autumn: the cold air now pinches my cheeks outside, and I start regretting not wearing a hat every time I'm out. It's the time of year when we start making lots of one-pot warm comforting meals. One of them is our Red Lentil and Butternut Squash Dahl, cooked in a turmeric-infused coconut and tomato stock.
5 from 8 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Dinner, Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 portions
Calories 582 kcal


  • 600 g butternut squash peeled and diced into 1cm cubes
  • 2 red onions thinly sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 30 g root ginger peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 260 g red lentils rinsed in cold water
  • stock cubes
  • 400ml tin of rich & creamy coconut milk
  • 400 g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 200 ml water
  • 100 g spinach
  • lemon


  • Heat a large pan with 3 tablespoon of oil. Add half of the sliced onions and fry for 4 minutes until softened.
  • In the meantime, in a large frying pan (you may need to use two frying pans or see Tip at the bottom of the recipe), heat 2 tablespoon of oil. Tip in diced butternut squash and scatter the remaining sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper. Fry on medium heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally until butternut squash is soft, slightly browned and the onions are crispy.
  • Whilst butternut squash is cooking, continue preparing your dahl. To the frying pan with onions, add turmeric, chopped garlic and ginger and cook for another minute until fragrant.
  • Add rinsed red lentils, crumble in stock cubes, pour in a tin (400ml) of coconut milk, a tin (400g) of chopped tomatoes and 200ml of water. Mix well and cover with a lid. Simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes until all the stock is absorbed and lentils are cooked. Add a splash of water if it gets too thick.
  • Take off the heat, stir in spinach and juice of ½ a lemon.
  • Serve dahl in bowls, topped with fried butternut squash cubes and crispy red onion. Garnish with a lemon wedge.


TIP: if you are doubling the recipe or don't have any large frying pans, you can roast butternut squash and red onion in the oven. Just spread your diced squash on baking trays, scatter sliced red onion, drizzle with oil, season with salt and pepper and give it a quick mix. Cook at 180°C for 20 minutes, but keep an eye on it, as your onions can burn very quickly in the oven. 
TIP 2: This meal freezes very well and you can simply defrost and reheat it in a microwave, so go on an make a big batch!


Calories: 582kcalCarbohydrates: 80gProtein: 24gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 542mgPotassium: 2012mgFiber: 28gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 18540IUVitamin C: 79mgCalcium: 219mgIron: 12mg
Keyword Butternut Squash Daal, Butternut Squash Dahl, Butternut Squash Dal, Dahl Recipe, Dahl with Butternut Squash, Red Lentil Dahl
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