Butternut Squash Dal


  • 2 small onions
  • groundnut oil
  • 200 g quick-cook yellow split peas
  • 800 g butternut squash
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 tablespoons creamed coconut
  • 1 fresh red chilli
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds


  1. Peel, finely chop and add the onions to a pan over a medium heat with a splash of oil. Sweat it down for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the split peas and 800ml of hot water to the pan and bring to the boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
  3. Halve, peel and chop your squash into 2cm cubes, then add to the pan and cook for a further 25 minutes, or until everything is soft and the liquid is reduced and creamy, removing the lid for the last 10 minutes.
  4. Finely chop the dried chilli, then toast with the cumin and coriander seeds in a frying pan over a medium heat for 1 to 2 minutes, or until fragrant. Then use a pestle and mortar to bash it all to a fine powder.
  5. Finely slice the garlic, then add half to the mortar with the turmeric and coconut, and mix it to a smooth paste.
  6. Stir this through the squash and cook for a further 10 minutes over a low heat until creamy and thick.
  7. Finely slice the fresh chilli and add to the frying pan with a drizzle of oil, the curry leaves, mustard seeds and remaining sliced garlic. Fry gently until golden.
  8. Swirl it through the dal. Delicious served with rice and wedges of lime.