Red Lentil, Butternut Squash & Coconut Dahl

The perfect dinner for this Autumnal weather! Dahl is a type of Indian curry, traditionally made from lentils and full of warming spices. I made a big batch of this last week, serving half of it to my friends for dinner and keeping the other half in the fridge for my lunches over the next few days. You can also freeze it if you want to make it last longer.

As well as tasting great, lentils are highly nutritious; they are rich in minerals, protein and fibre. The folic acid and potassium they contain have been linked to improving heart health, iron contributes to energy levels and selenium has been found to reduce inflammation in the body.

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YOU WILL NEED (makes 5-6 portions):

  • 1½ TBSPs coconut oil
  • 1 large white onion
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic
  • Fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 TSP turmeric
  • 1 TSP ground cumin
  • 1 TSP ground coriander
  • ½ TSP dried chili flakes (optional)
  • 400g red split lentils
  • 400g frozen butternut squash (or fresh, cubed)
  • 1 tin coconut milk (full or light)
  • 1 vegetable stock cube (mixed into 500ml boiling water)
  • Salt & pepper
  • ½ fresh lime
  • Fresh coriander to top

TO MAKE: 

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, spread the butternut squash cubes on a tray with a little oil and roast until softened (this is optional but makes the cooking time slightly quicker).
  2. Meanwhile, in a large pan, add the coconut oil, garlic, ginger, onion and spices and begin to heat on a low setting, stirring continuously until the onion begins to turn translucent.
  3. Add the lentils to the pan along with the stock and coconut milk. Bring to the boil, before reducing the heat and allowing the lentils to simmer.
  4. Add the butternut squash in and continue to cook until the lentils become creamy (this usually takes around 20-30 minutes), stir consistently. If the Dahl becomes too dry before the lentils are fully cooked, add a little extra water.
  5. Taste and season with salt/pepper along the way; this is usually where I end up adding more spices and grated ginger!
  6. Squeeze half a lime in and stir.

Serve with brown rice or quinoa and top with fresh coriander, chilli flakes and coconut yoghurt. 

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