Vegan dal with red lentils, squash, chickpeas and spinach in a bowl with rice on the side
Print Recipe
4.24 from 13 votes

One-pot dhal curry

This hearty one-pot dhal curry is packed with red lentils, chickpeas, butternut squash and spinach and ready in just 25 minutes.
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time30 mins
Course: Vegan Main
Cuisine: Indian
Keyword: dhal curry
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 422kcal
Author: Lucy Parissi | Supergolden Bakes


  • 2 tsp olive oil (or use cooking spray)
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 garlic cloves grated
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger finely grated
  • 250 g | 1 cup butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 960 ml | 4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • 300 g | 1 1/2 cups red lentils rinsed
  • 400 g |14 oz tin chickpeas drained and rinsed
  • 4 tomatoes seeded and roughly chopped
  • 60 ml | 1/4 cup coconut cream (optional)
  • 180g g (3 cups loosely packed) spinach leaves
  • fresh coriander (cilantro) to garnish
  • pinch red chilli flakes to garnish


  • Heat the olive oil in a large casserole and sauté the onion for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.
  • Stir in the spices, salt, garlic, ginger and butternut squash.
  • Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to a rolling simmer.
  • Add in the red lentils – they tend to become a solid mass once you rinse them so break them up with a spoon.
  • Add the chickpeas and tomatoes and simmer, partially covered for 15 minutes until the curry has thickened and squash is tender.
  • Mix in the spinach until it starts to wilt and then stir in the coconut cream. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and a pinch red chilli flakes. 

Slow cooker method

  • Fry the onion with the spices, ginger and garlic then add to your slow cooker together with the squash, chickpeas, and tomatoes. 
  • Add the stock and give everything a good stir. Cook on low for 8 hours, stirring in the spinach and cream at the end.



  • This one-pot dhal is naturally vegan and gluten free.
  • You don't need to soak the red lentils, however you do need to give them a good rinse.
  • You can experiment by adding different veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots and so on. 
  • If you like to add a bit more flavour into the curry you can fry mustard seeds in rapeseed oil until they start to pop. Drizzle the seeds and oil over the curry before serving.
  • This dhal curry is quite mild. If you want to dial up the heat you could add one or two chillies and their seeds in with the onions.
  • The curry will keep for up to four days in the fridge and up to three months in the freezer. 
  • Keep the liquid from the chickpeas (aquafaba) to make vegan chocolate mousse or vegan macarons!
  • Syn-free for those following Slimming World provided you use cooking spray instead of oil.


Calories: 422kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Sodium: 1046mg | Potassium: 1115mg | Fiber: 22g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 5555IU | Vitamin C: 25.2mg | Calcium: 102mg | Iron: 6.9mg