When I went to a friends a couple of weeks ago, she cooked up a really yummy lentil bolognaise from the new Deliciously Ella book. It was lovely to have a dish that felt substantial without meat and was hearty and healthy! I have to say that I got the book soon afterwards and this next recipe is a take on Deliciously Ella’s lentil dhal.

I think it works really well with a couple of adjustments I made to the original recipe; I have added some extra spice from the chili and crunchy texture and nice colour from the red pepper. I also think that adding some spinach would have worked really well in this recipe. I would encourage you to experiment with recipes making little adjustments if necessary to enhance flavor, texture and taste of the dish. That’s what I love to do!

Spicy Butternut squash and Lentil dhal

1 butternut peeled and cubed

1 cup red lentils

4 garlic cloves peeled and minced

1 inch fresh ginger peeled and finely chopped

2 tbsp tomato paste

1 red chilli finely chopped

1 red pepper diced

2tbsp turmeric

2 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and Pepper


  1. Heat a large pan and add the olive oil, garlic and ginger and cook on a medium heat for a couple of minutes until starting to brown.
  2. Add the spices and tomato paste and cook for a further minute.
  3. Put the rest of the ingredients into the pan and add 2½ cups of water. Bring to the boil and stir, then simmer for 40 minutes.
  4. Serve with wild rice, and some fresh mint sprinkled on top. Mint yogurt is also lovely with this dish!


Key Ingredients and Nutrients

Red lentils– a good source of protein, help lower cholesterol and good for stabilizing blood sugar levels.

Turmeric- part of the ginger family, it contains a compound called curcumin, this has very strong anti inflammatory properties

Chili- rich in vitamin c and a good source of vitamin A and E