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Food & Recipes

Butternut Squash With Red Lentils and Tamarind

Stuffed butternut squash with chickpeas, cranberries, quinoa cooked in nutmeg, cloves, cinnamon. Thanksgiving dinner recipe. Vegan healthy seasonal fall or autumn food

Cooking butternut squash prior to adding it to this dal works everything out such that benefit. It adds to the cooking time (trust me — it is definitely justified) however requires next to no additional prep work. The gritty taste of the red lentils supplements the smooth simmered squash, and the flavors, tamarind and jaggery get an energetic mix of flavors. You can serve this soupy masoor dal alone, or joined by rice or chapati.


Serves 4


1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice

1 tsp. nigella seeds (kalonji)

½ tsp. dried red chile flakes

½ tsp. salt

1 Tbsp. sunflower oil


1 Tbsp. mustard oil

1 tsp. fenugreek seeds

1 tsp. nigella seeds (kalonji)

2 onions, finely chopped

200g (about 1 cup) masoor dal (red lentils)

1 tsp. salt

1 tsp. ground coriander

½ tsp. chile powder

5 cups plus 1 Tbsp. boiling water

1 Tbsp. tamarind paste

1 Tbsp. grated jaggery or brown sugar

2 Tbsp. coconut cream

Handful fresh cilantro leaves, to garnish (optional)

Step 1

To start with, broil the squash. Preheat the stove to 350°F. Spread out the diced squash on a baking plate and sprinkle over the nigella seeds, chile chips and salt. Shower with the oil and blend well. Broil for 40 minutes, until delicate and gently sautéed.

Step 2

In the interim, begin making the dal. Heat the mustard oil in a huge pan over medium-low intensity until it starts to smoke. Add the fenugreek and nigella seeds and let them sizzle for 1-2 minutes, then add the onions and cook for 10 minutes, until mellowed.

Step 3

Tip in the lentils, salt, ground coriander and chile powder and blend well. Pour in the deliberate bubbling water and bring to the bubble. Cover the container with a top and cook over medium-low intensity for 15 minutes or until the lentils are cooked.

Step 4

Mix the tamarind glue and jaggery into the pan, then cautiously blend in the simmered butternut squash. Diminish the intensity to low, cover the container with a top and stew for 10 minutes, until the dal has thickened.

Step 5

Add the coconut cream and mix well. Take the pan off the heat and sprinkle over the cilantro leaves, if using them. Serve immediately.

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