Home > Food > Life > TMC Family Recipe Of The Week: Dhal

Roasted butternut squash and spinach dhal
Makes 5-6 portions (Approximately 350g per portion)
Vegan / Dairy free / Gluten free 

The ultimate, veggie-packed dhal to always have in your freezer; this is a dish you’ll never get bored of, and a great base if you want to add extra protein or ingredients on top at a later stage. 

Spice mix: 
1 tablespoon of black mustard seeds
1 ½ tablespoons of cumin seeds 
1 tablespoon of fennel seeds
1 tablespoon of coriander seeds
1 tablespoon of ground turmeric 
½ tablespoon of garam masala powder
½ tablespoon of ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon of chilli powder
1 onion, finely chopped
3cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
25ml of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon of salt 
500g (17oz) red lentils 
2 tins of coconut milk (400ml per can) 
500ml water
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into approximately  2cm cubes
150g (5oz) of fresh or frozen spinach leaves 
½ bunch of chopped coriander 
½ lemon Juice and zest 
1 lime juice and zest 
Toasted coconut flakes, to garnish (optional) 


Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), Gas Mark 4
To make the spice mix, put all the spices apart from the mustard seeds in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar, grind until smooth. Then add the whole mustard seeds.  Put a pan on medium heat and add the spice mix, toast until you start to smell the arabic spices, or for about 3-4 minutes. Add the vegetable oil and onion and cook for 5 minutes then add the garlic and ginger cook for a further 5 minutes. 
Add the lentils, followed by the coconut milk and water. Cook on a low heat until the lentils are soft, this usually takes 25-30 minutes. Make sure you stir occasionally in case the mixture starts to stick to the bottom of the pan, add extra water if needed. 
Put your peeled and cubed butternut squash on a baking tray and drizzle with oil and salt, roast in the oven for 20 minutes or until soft and slightly caramelised. 
To the lentils add the spinach, cooked butternut squash. Take off the heat and add the lemon and lime juice and zest and the coriander. Season with salt. Serve with toasted coconut to garnish. 
Freezing tips: In freezable and microwaveable or oven proof containers, portion out 350g of dhal in individual containers. Once the mixture has cooled put the lid on and label with ‘butternut squash dhal’ with a best before of 6 months. 
To reheat straight from frozen:  Put into the microwave for 3 minutes, take out of the microwave and remove the lid and stir, place the lid on top but not sealed closed, then put the container back into the microwave and heat for another 5 minutes or until piping hot. Leave to stand for 3 minutes then serve. 
To reheat straight from frozen, oven:  Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF), Gas Mark 4. Take the lid off the oven proof container and then cover the top with foil to ensure the food will not dry in the reheating process. Place on a baking tray and heat in the center of the oven for 40-45 minutes or until piping hot, Leave to stand for 3 minutes before serving. 

Recipe by ByRuby

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