Coconut & squash dhansak

Coconut & squash dhansak

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(173 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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büşra Sert's picture
büşra Sert
7th Jan, 2020
Just cooked this today, tastes very good. I roasted butternut instead of microwave. To me, it is healthier. Thanks for the recipe.
20th Nov, 2019
This is really nice and so so easy too. I use normal onions and usually just chuck the squash in to cook in the sauce when I add the tomatoes and coconut milk. Works every time and is full of flavour!
Martin Thomas's picture
Martin Thomas
31st Oct, 2019
Really good, filling, autumnal comfort food. I used tikka masala paste, didn't bother with the coconut yogurt and added ground cumin, coriander, turmeric and garam masala to the sauce to give it a bit of welly. Absolutely delicious.
30th Oct, 2019
Really nice recipe. A little bit different from the usual veggie thing. Also super easy and fairly quick. I boiled up 150g of dried green lentils as I couldn't find tinned.
Malinda Davies's picture
Malinda Davies
21st Oct, 2019
I googled easy vegetarian recipes and this is NOT easy. I followed the recipe by cooking 400g of dry lentils and they turned out very mushy and stuck to the wall. Upon mixing with the curry, a paste was formed, only edible as a pancake. WET WET WET
30th Oct, 2019
It's not really fair to blame a recipe for cooking it badly. I also cooked the lentils from dry and the result was lovely. Also, 400g of dry lentils for this recipe is about 250g too much.
30th Oct, 2019
You likely overcooked the lentils, since they disintegrated into a paste. That's not the fault of the recipe.
Tonya Kirwan's picture
Tonya Kirwan
3rd Oct, 2019
I love this recipe! So easy to make. I pair it with basmati rice but it would be perfect with couscous also
Charla Heeney's picture
Charla Heeney
25th Sep, 2019
I saw this recipe and thought it sounded great for a healthy meal idea. However, despite the nutritional information saying it is 320kcal per portion, it actually works out as roughly 599kcal per portion. A few calories off could be excused, but this information is wildly incorrect, and is very misleading.
24th Sep, 2019
Oh my, this is delicious. I added a few extra fragrant spices rather than the curry past. Garam Masala, Turmeric, Cumin, ground coriander, mustard seeds and the like. Just beautiful, especially with the coconut yogurt. I also used coconut oil to cook it in, which added a creamier texture and an extra coconut boost. Yum, and with the butternut squash being done in the microwave while the rest was in the pot cooking, this literally took me about ten-fifteen minutes. Kids gobbled it up too, so all good.


13th Jan, 2020
Does the calorie figure include the mini naan? Thanks
14th Jan, 2020
Hello, Not the naan doesn't figure in the nutrition as it is to serve and not a specified amount. I hope this helps.
14th Jan, 2020
Great, thanks
24th Sep, 2015
What kind of tinned lentils should be used or what type and weight of dried lentils?
goodfoodteam's picture
2nd Nov, 2019
Thanks for your question. You can use any can of lentils in this recipe. Brown or green lentils are readily available in supermarkets.
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.
Martin Thomas's picture
Martin Thomas
31st Oct, 2019
Would the same apply to full fat coconut milk?


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