This spicy butternut dal is the perfect easy-to-make lunch. It begins with a medley of garlicky butternut squash, mushrooms, onions, lentil, and cabbage which is then topped with a rich red tomato passata. Serve with rice and garnish with butternut seeds for a dish that is filling without being heavy and warming and spicy, yet tummy friendly.

Spicy Butternut Dal [Vegan]






  • 2 onions. chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4-6 dates (depending on size), chopped
  • 1 cup Crimini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 small or 1/2 of 1 large butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • Butternut seeds, rinsed
  • Curry powder, to taste
  • Chili flakes, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon dried coriander or cilantro
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 30-ounce jar tomato passata or jarred tomatoes
  • 1 1/4 cups red lentils, dried, not cooked, and rinsed
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 2 cups savoy cabbage, shredded


  1. In a large pot, add the onion and garlic and sauté in a little bit of water for a few minutes. Add dates, mushrooms, butternut squash dices and tomato paste, and season with curry powder, chili flakes, coriander, salt, and pepper.
  2. Start with a little bit of the spices, you can always add more later. Allow to sauté for a few minutes, until the tomato paste starts to dry and stick slightly to the bottom of the pot.
  3. Add lentils, tomato passata, and about half of the water. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to low. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes, until the butternut squash and lentils are soft. Fold in the savoy cabbage and let cook with the dal the last few minutes. Add more water if needed, and give it a taste – adding more spices as you please.
  4. While the dal simmers away, heat a pan to medium heat and toast the rinsed butternut seeds with a pinch of salt until lightly browned.
  5. Serve the dal hot topped with butternut seeds.

Nutritional Information

Total Calories: 2,024 | Total Carbs: 392 g | Total Fat: 13 g | Total Protein: 96 g | Total Sodium: 219 mg | Total Sugar: 155 g Note: The information shown is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.