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Eating veggie » Recipes » Spinach, Red Lentil and Roasted Squash Dhansak

Spinach, Red Lentil and Roasted Squash Dhansak

Prep time 15 mins, cook time 35 mins

Serves 4

Dairy-Free, Vegan, Suitable for Freezing, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free, Wheat-Free, Nut-Free

Spinach, Red Lentil and Roasted Squash Dhansak

A medium spiced dhansak made with a homemade curry paste with a tomato-based sauce packed with spinach, red lentils and diced roasted butternut squash. Authentic dhansak doesn’t include pineapple, but you could add some if you like.


  • 400g butternut squash, peeled and cut into 2cm chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 150g red lentils
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 3cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
  • 3cm piece cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 150g baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp coriander, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6.
  2. Place the butternut on a baking tray, drizzle with half of the oil, season with salt and black pepper and roast for 20-25 minutes until soft and charred on the edges, turning half way through.
  3. Rinse and drain the lentils, place in a saucepan, cover with water then bring to the boil and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.
  4. To prepare the curry paste, add the garlic, onion and ginger to a small food processor. Add the dry spices along with the remaining oil and 2 tbsp water. Whizz together until the mixture resembles a paste.
  5. When the squash has about 15 minutes left, heat a deep saucepan, add the curry paste and cook for 2-3 minutes on a medium heat. Pour in the chopped tomatoes, 300ml water, the cinnamon stick and sugar, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. When the squash and lentils are cooked add them to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes. Next cut the lemon in half and squeeze in half of the juice then add the spinach in handfuls and stir each addition into the sauce until wilted. Add a dash of water if the sauce looks a little dry. You can also add more lemon, but taste first to check it’s not too tart.
  7. Just before serving remove the cinnamon stick, season and sprinkle over the fresh coriander. Serve with some steamed basmati rice.

Nutrition per serving

392 kcal
















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