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October: Butternut squash and red lentil dhal

Autumn is truly here now; October is known for pumpkins and spooky revelry but there is nothing spooky about this month’s recipe. We have been inspired by all the juicy, plump squashes and pumpkins on sale locally and growing in our gardens and created a delicious dhal recipe. It can be made with low-cost ingredients you may already have at home.

If you find peeling and preparing a pumpkin or a butternut squash tricky you could try buying ready prepared or even some frozen butternut squash chunks. If you don’t keep individual curry spices at home a small tub of a mixed curry powder works just as well. You can reduce the cayenne peer if you don’t like your food too hot.

Serves 4 Preparation time 15 minutes Cooking time 35 minutes

Butternut squash and pumpkin are similar so you could use either in this recipe. If peeling and chopping is tricky, look out for frozen butternut squash as it comes ready prepared. You may like to serve it with naan or pitta bread.


  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic gloves, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp of curry powder (or one tbsp each of coriander, cumin & turmeric)
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • About 400g (prepared weight) butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 400g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 litre of vegetable stock
  • 300g dried red lentils
  • Small packet of coriander, roughly chopped


  1. Prepare all your ingredients first.
  2. Add the oil and the onion to a pan and cook over a medium heat for about five minutes. Next add the garlic, butternut squash and spices and stir it all together. Add the stock and the tinned tomatoes and bring the pan to the boil, then gently simmer for about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the red lentils and leave to simmer for another 20 minutes. When the butternut squash and lentils are tender stir through the coriander and serve with naan bread.

What vegetables are in season right now?

Eating seasonally means eating food that’s naturally ripe and ready for harvest in the local area at the time, instead of imported foods from different climates around the world. Eating seasonal food, or food that you’ve grown at home can make a big difference in cutting down your food miles, helping to make your diet more sustainable and reduce your carbon footprint. When you’re shopping this month look out for: Beetroot, Cabbage, Calabrese (often called broccoli in the shops),Celeriac, Celery, Carrots, Cauliflower, Chard, Chillies, Jerusalem artichokes, Kale, Kohl rabi, Leeks, Marrow, Mushrooms, Onions and shallots, Pak choi, Parsnips, Potatoes (maincrop), Rocket, Spinach, Swede and turnip, Winter squash and pumpkins,

Fruits to harvest or buy are Apples, Pears, Quince, Autumn fruiting raspberries.

Last updated: 25th August 2023