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Roasted Butternut Squash Tarka Dhal

Oozy and luxurious, this meal is great for the coming winter months and with a subtle heat counteracted by the coconut - it is an ultimate win win!
Prep Time1 hr 40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time2 hrs 10 mins
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: butternut squash, curry, lentils, tarka dhal
Servings: 4 People


  • 1 Butternut squash, small *
  • 200 g red lentils, dried
  • 1 tbsp creamed coconut
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1 thumb ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 1 bunch of coriander
  • 1 lime
  • 1 large red onion
  • Sea salt
  • groundnut oil


  • Preheat the oven to 350°f/ 180°c (Fan 160°c). Scrub clean your butternut squash and remove the stem by carefully inserting a knife where it meets the squash. Place the whole squash on a baking tray in the center of the oven and allow it to roast for 1½ hours. *
  • Turn off the oven and remove the squash from the oven once tender through, browned and caramelized; placing the squash to one side allow it to cool for 10 - 15 minutes. Now slice the squash into eighths, then dice the lengths and place these to one side.
  • Finely slice the onion and garlic, then deseed and dice the red chilli. Peel away the skin on the ginger with a teaspoon, then also finely dice and set to one side.
  • Add 1 tbsp of groundnut oil to a large saucepan over a medium heat, then add in the onion. Stir occasionally for 5 minutes until the onion is fragrant and beginning to caramelize. Add the garlic, chilli and ginger to the pan, now sauteing with the onion for a further two minutes. Once infused add all of the spices and fry for approximately 30 seconds,
  • Now add the red lentils with 3 cups of water to the saucepan, bringing the mixture to a boil. Placing the lid on, reduce the heat still maintaining a boil for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, finely chop the coriander stalks leaving some leaves for garnish, placing the remainder in a jar in the refrigerator for another day.
  • Now place the diced squash, coriander stalks and creamed coconut in with the lentils. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and add a pinch of sea salt.
  • Replace the lid to the saucepan and allow the dhal to simmer for a further 10 minutes or until pourable yet oozy, ensuring nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.
  • Now you may further break up the squash with a spatula to achieve a more combined, creamier texture - if you wish too. Serve up with a garnish of coriander, lime juice and on a majestic bed of greens! Enjoy!


* I recommend roasting your squash in advance, otherwise it may not only be hot to         prepare but increase the kitchen time unwantedly. If your squash is of greater size         then feel free to roast it and withhold a 1/4 from the recipe - you can use this in             soups, salads, breakfasts or even desserts.