Dairy Farmers of Canada

Butternut Squash Dal with Lentils Recipe

Our dietitians' favourite

From the 2013 Milk Calendar, this Butternut Squash Dal recipe brings together wholesome lentils and vibrant butternut squash in a nutritious fusion. Ideal as a hearty main or a flavorful side, this vegetarian dish is a testament to the versatility and deliciousness of Canadian produce.

  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cooking: 30 min
Yields 4 servings
A comforting bowl of butternut squash dal garnished with fresh cilantro, accompanied by a piece of flatbread, ready for a wholesome meal.
Dal, pureed and seasoned lentils, is a staple in Indian cuisine. Taken from the 2013 Milk Calendar, the recipe presented in this video suggests adding some butternut squash. Easy to make and nutritious, this recipe is a happy alternative anytime you may want to eat less meat.


  • 1 cup (250 mL) dried red lentils
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced gingerroot or 1 1/2 tsp (7 mL) ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) Indian yellow curry paste or powder
  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) pepper
  • 3 cups (750 mL) chopped peeled butternut squash about 1 lb/500 g
  • 1 1/2 cups (375 mL) milk
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh cilantro or green onions
  • Garam masala
Placeholder alt


Sign up for our new More Goodness program for exclusive offers, recipes, contests and more.



Place lentils in a fine sieve and pick through to remove any stones or grit. Rinse well and drain; stir into broth and set aside.

In a large, deep saucepan, melt butter over medium heat; sauté onion for 3 min or until starting to soften. Add garlic, ginger, curry paste (to taste), salt and pepper; sauté for 2 min or until softened. Add lentils in broth, squash and milk. Bring to a simmer, stirring often.

Cover, leaving lid ajar, reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 25 min or until squash and lentils are soft and tender. Remove from heat and mash lightly with a potato masher. Sprinkle with cilantro and garam masala (if using). Serve with papadum, basmati rice, or naan.


This is an excellent introduction to the flavours of curry for kids who haven’t tried it. The sweet squash and milk smooth out the taste of the curry allowing them to get use to the combination of spices.

Use a hot curry paste and/or sauté 1-1/2 tsp (7 mL) each, whole cumin and coriander seeds and 1 minced fresh hot pepper in 1 tbsp (15 mL) butter and spoon on top of dal with cilantro.

Learn more about

Nutritional information

Per serving
Energy: 304 Calories
Protein: 18 g
Carbohydrate: 50 g
Fat: 5 g
Fibre: 8.4 g
Sodium: 492 mg

Top 5 Nutrients

(% DV*)
Calcium: 19 % / 211 mg
Folate: 65 %
Iron: 37 %
Vitamin A: 64 %
Vitamin C: 44 %