Butternut Squash Daal with spoon and two plates

Creamy Butternut Squash Daal

Who doesn’t love daal?! In fact, it seems it is such a loved dish, it is worthy of a whole festival – The British Dal Festival!And what better way to celebrate than with a Creamy Butternut Squash Daal., with flaked almonds and fresh coriander. To make this dish of deliciousness, we’ve collaborated with our friends at Hodmedods who bring us the best of British pulses.

This week is The British Daal Festival, where we are celebrating daal , pulses and beans for their total awesomeness as they are the “delicious and nutritious seeds for a sustainable future”. Pulses are full of vitamins, minerals, LOADS of protein, and are super versatile. The British Dal Festival follows World Pulses Day on 10 February where pulses are showcased for their incredible contribution to health, nutrition, food security, biodiversity and fighting climate change. And The British Dal Festival is celebrating the benefits of pulses and the many traditions and flavours that cooks bring to this amazing ingredient.

And who better to team up with than Hodmedods! Hodmedods have been working with British farms since 2012 to bring us an exciting range of top quality foods. They love searching out the less well-known ones like the fava bean, “Black Badger” Carlin Peas and Quinoa from the plains of Essex. We love supporting British business, and Hodmedods not only provides dried cooking ingredients, flours, tins of beans and dhal, but also supplies delicious salted snacks we can’t get enough of!

Hodmedods yellow split peas with dal in background

We’ve used their awesome British grown organic yellow split peas to create this dal recipe. Did you know that Dal (or dahl or daal) just means split pea or bean? That’s why there are so many different types of daal, because there are so many different types of peas and beans it can be made from, and many many millions of people who make it, each adding their own special twist. 

We chose one of our favourite cuisines to celebrate this festival; Indian cuisine! Well, more South Indian actually, but with a British twist. Best of both! This daal is made using Hodmedods’ British grown split yellow peas, which have a lovely creamy texture. We’ve also added, for extra creaminess, butternut squash. Squashes are sweet vegetables, especially when roasted, have a beautiful colour, and are seasonal to this time of year. Coconut milk is just so yummy in daal, gives even MORE creaminess, and is a common ingredient in South Indian daal.

Butternut squash dal with plates

It really is the spices that make this dish so tasty, and all of them are so easy to come by in your supermarket, local shops and health food stores. And if you can’t get hold of British grown pulses, just use what you have or what you can find. And don’t forget the toppings, which just lift this dish to a whole other level! We suggest vegan yoghurt (a great contrast with the spice), fresh coriander and lemon juice. Another nice twist is to stir in some spinach leaves just at the end so they wilt into the dal. Totally Delicious. Oh yes, and share with friends on a cold evening – it will taste all the better!


Creamy Butternut Squash Daal,
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins

This is a traditional South Indian dish with a British twist. A delicious creamy lentil soup using roasted pureed butternut squash and coconut milk for extra creaminess. It has brilliant spices making it rich in flavour and is topped with crunchy flaked almonds and fresh coriander

Course: main, starter
Cuisine: asian, british, Indian, pakistani
Keyword: butternut squash, curry, daal, dal, pulse, spice
Servings: 4
Author: Vanessa
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided in two
  • 1 medium onion
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 2 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
  • 1 can full fat coconut milk
  • 750 ml vegetable stock
  • 1.5 cups yellow split peas
  • 1/2 cup of any other lentils, for extra texture
  • Whole medium butternut squash, cored & peeled and cut up into chunks
  • 1 bunch spinach (optional)
To serve
  • Fresh coriander
  • Vegan yoghurt
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  1. Soak the lentils for a 8 hours / overnight (check if this needs to be done or if they can just be boiled up).

  2. Preheat oven to 200 C. 

  3. Put chopped butternut squash on a baking tray mixed with 1 tbsp of olive oil. Roast for 45 minutes until the flesh is soft. Take out the oven once done and leave to cool. Use half of the squash. Once cool scrap the half of the squash into a food processor with ½ cup of hot water. Blend into a puree and set aside. Leave the other half of the squash to serve with later!  

  4. Start the daal by heating the other 1 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Once hot add the onions and fry until translucent, then add the garlic, ginger, coriander, curry powder, turmeric, salt, pepper and chili flakes. Fry for a few minutes to let the flavours infuse. 

  5. Add 2 cups water and the lentils. Cook for around 30 mins until the lentils are soft. 

  6. Next add the coconut milk and vegetable stock. Cook for 15 minutes.

  7. Add the butternut squash puree to the daal. Cook for another 10 minutes.

  8. Optional but delicious: Add spinach leaves and let them wilt into the daal. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

  9. To serve, sprinkle a bowl of daal with some of the reserved butternut squash chunks, a squeeze of lemon juice, a few sploshes of vegan plain yoghurt and some fresh coriander leaves. 

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