Red lentil & squash dhal

Red lentil & squash dhal

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(133 ratings)

Prep: 15 mins Cook: 40 mins


Serves 4
A hearty budget meal of spiced red lentils with butternut and tomatoes. Add coriander, cumin, turmeric and a dollop of mango chutney

Nutrition and extra info

  • Healthy

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal495
  • fat12g
  • saturates2g
  • carbs58g
  • sugars14g
  • fibre9g
  • protein42g
  • salt0.6g
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  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil

    Sunflower oil is made from pressing sunflower seeds and extracting the oil. It's usually…

  • 1 onion, finely chopped



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

  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 400g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm (prepared weight)
  • 400g can chopped tomato
  • 1.2l chicken stock
  • 1 heaped tbsp mango chutney
  • 300g red lentil
  • small pack coriander, roughly chopped
  • naan bread, to serve


  1. Put the oil and the onion in a saucepan, and cook for 5 mins. Stir in the garlic and cook for a further 1 min, then stir in the spices and butternut squash. Combine everything together.

  2. Tip in the chopped tomatoes, stock and chutney, and season well. Bring to the boil, then gently simmer for about 10 mins. Add the lentils and simmer for another 20 mins until the lentils and squash are tender. Stir in the coriander and serve with warmed naan bread.

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Comments, questions and tips

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Dushan Stojadinovic's picture
Dushan Stojadinovic
27th Jun, 2020
Delicious, butternut tasting a bit like tangerine but next time I will double all the spices and seasoning
Alastair McFarlane's picture
Alastair McFarlane
6th Jun, 2020
Absolutely delicious. I didn't double the spices or change anything and it was nicely flavoured and not at all watery.
23rd Aug, 2019
I had the veg and lentils but almost none of the spices! I used masala, mixed spice and turmeric. Also had no chutney and no naan. Despite all this it turned out amazing. My family loved it. And it was quite quick and very easy to make. Next time I’ll prep the butternut the evening before to save even more time. I soaked the lentils for 2 hours.
Pip Dragonetti's picture
Pip Dragonetti
26th Apr, 2019
Bit disappointing, easy enough to make but even will double spice the dish lacked flavour. As I was using pre-cooked lentils I just added 1/2 a litre of stock but the end result was still a bit too liquid for my tastes. If I make again I would only use half a tin of tomatoes as a whole tin overpowers the other flavours and makes the whole thing taste like a slightly spiced tomato sauce rather than a true dhal.
24th Feb, 2019
Great recipe, filling. economical, filling, and simple. I doubled the spices, but the milder version was also very delicious and comforting
lisa7465's picture
3rd Jan, 2019
Never usually comment but had to for this. Been looking for a good veggie dish for ages and this is the one!! Upped the spices as per everyone else and I did end up using a good litre of stock. Didn't use any coriander (not for me) and didn't have squash so used sweet potato instead. What a dream!! Served with garlic naan and extra chutney. It's made absolutely loads can't wait to have it again tomorow!
23rd Dec, 2018
I agree with some of the comments: it’s really bland. It needs so much tinkering to get it right you’re better off using a different recipe. Also: the amount of stock makes it rather rather watery. Red lentils usually cook a lot quicker than 20 minutes, so it probably best adding them a little later or they will turn to pulp.
sarah sheppard's picture
sarah sheppard
19th Jun, 2018
So tasty and filling. I substituted the squash for chunky pieces of red pepper and a handful of king prawns (I also used a tbsp of garam masala instead of cumin and coriander as I didn’t have them) but it was wonderful. The next day I had the leftovers for lunch with crispy chorizo and lots of coriander - so so good and possibly even better than the night before. Definitely a keeper, I will be making this dhal again and again with slight variations each time I am sure. My family and I loved it.
22nd Mar, 2018
Came across this recipe whilst looking for ways to use up a load of red lentils, and it was easy to make and very tasty! Definitely increase the spices; I used double but upping them by 50 % would probably be enough. I served it just with chapati and found this recipe made enough for six lunchtime portions. It froze and reheated in the microwave really well.
1st Nov, 2017
I added a few left overs from fridge chicken, leeks and red pepper. I like food a little more spicy so added extra of all the spices and cayenne pepper. oh just because i fancied it tomato puree. Went down a treat. will defiantly be making that again


29th Apr, 2018
In the nutrition info for this recipient, it states there is 42g of protein per serving. I take it that's a mistake as lentils only contain 9g protein per 100g and there is 300g total in this recipie. Also butternut squash only contains 1g protein per 100g, so just wondering what the actual amount of protein is per serving. Thanks.
8th Oct, 2017
Can this be frozen
goodfoodteam's picture
11th Oct, 2017
Thanks for your question. We put the freezer information above the nutritional breakdown, where applicable. In this case, we think the dish is better served fresh but you could freeze it if you have leftovers.
8th May, 2014
Should I soak the lentils first, or is it better to put them in dried and let the tomatoes and other liquid do their magic whilst cooking?
goodfoodteam's picture
19th May, 2014
There is no need to soak the lentils first, thanks.
14th May, 2014
Lentils don't require pre-soaking, they cook in the chicken stock/tomatoes :)
18th Oct, 2016
Fantastic recipe, I make it in the slow cooker and use sweet potato if I don't have squash. The potato just turns to purée if you give it a good stir with a fork which is perfect for dahl. The kids love it and there is always enough left to reheat - bonus!
1st Jul, 2016
Great meal to have mid-week. Very tasty, fresh and healthy. I had no cayenne pepper, so I added some chilli powder and paprika which tasted great. My tip would be to partially roast the buttnernut squash before adding, as this helps it to soften up quicker.
EveryWitchWay's picture
12th Nov, 2014
try it with chopped onion this is so good
Melanie Willoughy
13th Feb, 2014
Love this easy veggie supper dish and as I had no mango chutney, I finely chopped half a fresh mango adding this at the same time as the lentils. Very yummy.
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