Butternut Squash Dahl with eggs and crispy onions

It’s National Vegetarian Week and, in celebration of the fact that meat-free dishes are so often simply fantastic, here’s a vibrant dish you might like to try…

Butternut Squash Dahl with eggs and crispy onions

Recipe by OliveDifficulty: Simple




Total time



What a colourful and tasty combination! Butternut squash, eggs, lightly toasted spices, coconut milk and crispy onions…


  • sunflower or vegetable oil 1½ tbsp

  • onions 2, finely chopped

  • garlic 2 cloves, crushed

  • curry leaves 12

  • black mustard seeds 2 tsp

  • ground turmeric 1½ tsp

  • ground cumin 1 tsp

  • red lentils 250g

  • butternut squash 400g, peeled and coarsely grated

  • light coconut milk 400ml tin

  • vegetable stock 600ml

  • ready-made crispy onions 6 tbsp

  • eggs 6 large

  • chapatis to serve, warmed


  • Heat the oil in a large pan over a low heat and cook the onions and garlic for 10 minutes or until softened. When they’re just turning golden, increase the heat, add the curry leaves and cook for another minute. Add the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes or until fragrant, then stir in the lentils, butternut squash, coconut milk, stock and 2 tbsp of the crispy onions.
  • Bring the dal to a gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring the bottom of the pan regularly, until the lentils are really soft and breaking down, and the dal thickened. If it gets too thick or starts to catch, splash in a little water.
  • While the dal is cooking, prepare the jammy eggs. Half fill a very large pan with water and bring to the boil over a medium-high heat. Carefully lower in the eggs and, keeping a gentle boil, cook for 6½ minutes. Quickly put the eggs into a bowl of cold water and leave for 3 minutes, drain, then peel.
  • Season the dal, then divide between 4 shallow bowls. Halve the eggs and top each portion with three egg halves and 1 tbsp of crispy onions. Serve with warm chapatis on the side.

Making your mouth water? Then you may well like some of our other featured vegetarian recipes