5 from 1 vote
Spicy Lentil Stew Recipe with Butternut Squash
Spicy Lentil Stew with Butternut Squash
Prep Time
25 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
1 hr 5 mins

This is my version of the spicy squash, eggplant, and lentil stew from Suvir Saran's cookbook, Indian Home Cooking.

Course: Soups
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 8
Calories: 268 kcal
  • 1 cup yellow split peas, or toor dal, picked over, washed, and drained
  • ¾ cup brown lentils, picked over, washed, and drained
  • cups water
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala (recipe follows)
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 to 2 fresh hot green chiles, such as serrano, minced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 3 medium tomatoes, (about 3/4 pound), chopped
  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium eggplant, skin left on, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 ounces fresh spinach leaves (about 15 large), stemmed, washed, and torn into bite-size pieces (you may also use baby spinach)
Final Flavor Layer
  • 5 Tablespoons refined coconut oil (the kind with no flavor or odor)
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  1. Put the split peas and lentils in a large soup pot with 4 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Add the garlic, ginger, garam masala, turmeric, cayenne, cloves, bay leaves, chilies, and salt. Turn the heat down and simmer, covered, until the legumes are tender, but not falling apart, about 20 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking.

  2. Add the tomatoes, butternut squash, eggplant, onion, corn, and spinach, and 2 more cups water. Bring the stew to a boil, turn the heat down, and simmer, covered, for about 15 minutes. Take the stew off the heat.

Final Flavor Layer
  1. In a medium frying pan, heat the coconut oil with the mustard seeds, and cook 1-2 minutes, until the mustard seeds start to pop and crackle. Add the chopped onion and cumin and stir constantly, until the onion is browned on its edges, about 4 minutes. Turn the heat to medium, add the garlic, and cook for a few seconds. Stir in the cilantro. Add the lemon juice, and remove the frying pan from the heat. Scrape this final flavor layer into the stew.

  2. Taste and adjust for salt and consistency. If stew is too thick add a few tablespoons of water.