Coconut & squash dhansak

Coconut & squash dhansak

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(38 ratings)

Prep: 5 mins Cook: 15 mins


Serves 4
This quick and easy vegetarian curry is perfect for a healthy weeknight dinner - with butternut squash, coconut milk, lentils and spinach

Nutrition and extra info

  • Vegetarian

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal320
  • fat17g
  • saturates9g
  • carbs29g
  • sugars17g
  • fibre7g
  • protein9g
  • salt1g
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  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g butternut squash (about 1 small squash), peeled and chopped into bite-sized chunks (or buy a pack of ready-prepared to save time), see tip, below left
  • 100g frozen chopped onions



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 heaped tbsp mild curry paste (we used korma)
  • 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 400g can light coconut milk
    Coconut milk in a glass, with half a coconut

    Coconut milk

    ko-ko-nut mill-k

    Coconut milk is not the slightly opaque liquid that flows from a freshly opened coconut –…

  • mini naan bread, to serve
  • 400g can lentils, drained



    The lentil plant (Lens Culinaris) originates from Asia and North Africa and is one of our oldest…

  • 200g bag baby spinach
  • 150ml coconut yogurt (we used Rachel’s Organic), plus extra to serve



    Yogurt is made by adding a number of types of harmless bacteria to milk, causing it to ferment.…


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan. Put the squash in a bowl with a splash of water. Cover with cling film and microwave on High for 10 mins or until tender. Meanwhile, add the onions to the hot oil and cook for a few mins until soft. Add the curry paste, tomatoes and coconut milk, and simmer for 10 mins until thickened to a rich sauce.

  2. Warm the naan breads in a low oven or in the toaster. Drain any liquid from the squash, then add to the sauce with the lentils, spinach and some seasoning. Simmer for a further 2-3 mins to wilt the spinach, then stir in the coconut yogurt. Serve with the warm naan and a dollop of extra yogurt.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Ali Cherry
12th Nov, 2017
One of the tastiest curries I have ever made, and so simple too!
7th Nov, 2017
Lovely recipe, filling too
12th Jul, 2017
Tasty and easy. Added an extra chilli, and used sweet potato instead of squash.
28th Mar, 2017
Couldn't find butternut squash or spinach so roasted some sweet potato (scattered with chilli flakes) and added kale at the end instead. Also used tikka masala paste instead of korma, as I thought that would be too bland, and used 3 tablespoons instead of 4 after reading below comments! With those changes it was brilliant and I can't wait to make again :) I do think though that if you microwaved the squash instead of roasting it, it would taste quite bland. Lots of the flavour comes from the roasting.
Foodie Sansom
15th Jan, 2017
Lacking. I am usually really happy with the recipes on here but found this one rather disappointing. 4 tablespoons of paste seemed to really drown out the other flavours and the yoghurt at the end did not help balance it. Maybe roasting the squash would help and some additions such as chilli. I am now wondering why everyone else had better results.
5th Dec, 2016
Pretty good. I used half a fresh onion, but should have used a whole one. Also used frozen squash, which worked fine. I only used plain yoghurt, but would definitely try coconut next time.
18th Nov, 2016
As an enthusiastic carnivore, this dish is only one box away from ticking all boxes! I must admit, vegetarian dishes are fast becoming my go-to recipes. There's always a respect for vegetables, with herbs and spices carefully devised to elevate their humble origins. Without vegetarian recipes, I never would have learnt about Paneer, and the wondrous idea that I can put my favourite ingredient: cheese, in my favourite dish: curry. Genius. And so I added Paneer to this dish, and it was sensational. This recipe is begging for imagination. Add okra; add sweet potato; add green beans; add cauliflower. Heck! Add lamb or chicken or beef! Whatever you do, this is a stunning recipe for the recently promoted novice chef who wants to expand their culinary horizons; and it is a great base for more experienced cooks who fancy getting creative on a midweek cook.
14th Nov, 2016
Lovely and also adaptable. Can change the heat by adding a stronger curry paste and can also add other veg such as baby corn, or cauliflower. Great as a main course on its own or as part of a selection of curries. Lovely with a lamb curry
17th Oct, 2016
Was nice but would prefer to use a stronger curry paste in the future.
25th Aug, 2016
A great recipe for upping your veg count that never disappoints. I have found that an ice cream scoop is perfect for removing the seeds from a fresh butternut squash!


24th Sep, 2015
What kind of tinned lentils should be used or what type and weight of dried lentils?
11th Jun, 2016
I used tinned green lentils, as it was all the supermarket had at the time. Otherwise I'd say about 150g of dried lentils would do the same job.
20th Nov, 2014
Just about to make this for myself and my daughter. Can you tell me, does it freeze? Thanks
B Hunt
12th Jul, 2015
Yes, I eat one portion and freeze the rest usually... never had an issues.
goodfoodteam's picture
5th Dec, 2014
Hi there, thanks for your question. For best results this shouldn't be frozen, it is made with light coconut milk so may split once defrosted. This will only affect the appearance not the taste so if you don't mind that then you can freeze it.
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