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Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal | @hbharvestSlowly moving my way into fall recipes with this harvest tomato and butternut squash dal.

With the official start of autumn being just over a week away, I can’t deny my excitement is through the roof…but you all know this, because I literally cannot stop talking about it.

Sorry…but then really, I can’t help myself.

This is one of those recipes that I’ve been planning for a while now. Way back at the beginning of the summer I really wanted to make an Indian dal, but the recipe just felt a little too warm and cozy for a summer dinner. Me, being me, I decided to wait until the recipe felt seasonally right, and now is the time to finally tell you all about it.

Hip, hip, hooray!

Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal | @hbharvest

Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal | @hbharvest

Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal | @hbharvest

It’s kind of hard to believe that this is my first dal recipe, but I’m pretty pumped about it. It was actually my cousin Abby who first gave me the idea to make a Dal, after returning from India this past winter. She raved about all the curries she’d had and said the Red Lentil Dal was especially delicious.

If you’re new to dal, it’s an Indian style red lentil curry. It can be made many different ways, but I believe using red lentils is the most traditional way. It’s a mix of slowly cooked lentils with curry style spices and finished with a drizzle of spicy oil drizzled over top.

Most Dals are made with a mix of vegetables like onions, garlic, chilies, and or carrots, but I decided to use up the last of my cherry tomatoes and the very first of my butternut squash. It’s the perfect combo of summer meets autumn and trust me it is so good.

The best part? This dal is quick and easy to make. Everything gets mixed up in one pot and simmered on the stove for about thirty minutes. While that’s happening make a quick spicy tomato oil out of coconut oil, herbs, spices, and cherry tomatoes. Cook up some rice and warm some naan…very important. You need rice and naan with all curry style recipes. Obviously.

Serve the dal over a bowl rice and then drizzle the spicy oil overtop. Add a little cilantro and maybe a few pomegranate arils, if you’re into pomegranates, which I totally am.

And then DONE. Dinner in under an hour and it’s also completely vegan, which I only just now realized now. Cool. Cool.

Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal | @hbharvest

Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal | @hbharvest

OKAY, soooo that’s that on this delicious recipe, but ummm I have other things to scream at you all about…


Speaking of things I cannot stop talking about…wow, everyone’s comments on yesterday’s post about the Half Baked Harvest cookbook have me smiling from ear to ear. Seeing all of you who ordered the book or went out and bought the book yesterday!? Ahh!! Just in shock, and filled with happiness and amazement.

I really cannot believe it.

Basically at this point in time I am just one giant ball of happy over here today. I can’t believe I’m even mentioning this, but my birthday is Friday and there could not have been a better early birthday present. Thank you all! If I could send you cookies or give you all hugs I honestly would be doing so right now. Since I can’t do that, be sure to continue to follow along with all the Instagram giveaways this week, and don’t forget to enter yesterday’s giveaway as well.

Again, thank you guys so much for all of your support. It means the world to me and my little itty, bitty, HBH team. Hopefully more big things to come!

In the meantime, let’s cozy up to this autumn inspired Dal…

Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal | @hbharvest

Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Calories Per Serving: 270 kcal

Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

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Spiced Oil


  • 1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the ginger and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and red pepper flakes and cook another minute. Slowly add the water. Add the curry paste, lentils, butternut, and 1 cup tomatoes. Season generously with salt. Bring the mix to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the tomatoes have burst.
    2. Meanwhile, make the spiced oil. Heat the coconut oil, ginger, cumin, mustard seeds, red pepper flakes, and the remaining 1/2 cup of tomatoes in a medium skillet over medium heat. Cook until the spices are fragrant and the tomatoes have burst, about 10 minutes. Season with salt. 
    3. Remove the dal from the heat and stir in the cilantro. Taste and season with salt if needed. 
    4. To serve, spoon the dal over bowls of rice. Top as desired with cilantro, spiced oil, and pomegranates. Serve with Naan on the side. Enjoy!

Harvest Tomato and Butternut Squash Dal | @hbharvest

Maybe paired with a dessert from the cookbook!

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    1. Hey Cherry,
      Whatever your favorite brand of curry paste is:) I hope you love the recipe, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

    1. Hey Terrie,
      This recipe will make 6 servings. I hope you love the dish, please let me know if you give it a try! xTieghan

  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this enough times now that I can make it without following the recipe. It’s the best dal I’ve ever made, and I’ve shared it with so many people. I’ve made it with the spiced oil but couldn’t really taste the difference if I didn’t make it so I generally negate it, that’s the only difference though. I’ve had plans to try other recipes from halfbakedharvest but haven’t yet—- until my next grocery trip 🙂

    1. I am really glad you have been loving this one and I hope you continue to love all the others you try! Thank you so much Lindsay! xTieghan

  2. 5 stars
    Very, Very Good and very easy. The hardest part was peeling the butternut squash. It was pretty spicy but you could easily cut the curry paste to make it less so. Everyone in my fam loved it. You didn’t specify so I used yellow curry paste and I added some pipitas to the spiced oil to give it a little crunch. I didn’t have mustard seeds but Trader Joes Whole Grain Dijon is basically just mustard seeds so problem solved. I served it with coconut rice but the flavor of the Dal covered the coconut flavor so next time, I’m going to cut those extra calories the coconut milk added to the rice. The Dal was even better (and it seemed spicier) the next day for lunch! GREAT recipe.

  3. 5 stars
    Not only was this my first time making a dish from this site, but also my first time as a South Asian Bengali making desi food.

    It turned out great in my opinion! Full of flavor and great consistency. I had it with white rice and cookied veggies. Thanks for the recipe!

  4. It’s super hot and humid outside but I made this anyway because I didn’t know what to do with all the cherry tomatoes from my garden. it was so delicious!! I will be making more – what a yummy lunch that was. All I needed was naan.

  5. hi,
    What is suggestion for the spiced oil after Step 3? Do we just pour that on top of the Dal or is it cooked together further?

    1. The spiced oil is pour overtop the dal before serving. Please let me know if you have other questions. Hope you love this recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  6. 5 stars
    This dal is delicious! My favorite takeout place used to have an amazing dal and they took it off the menu. I’ve been missing it and this was a really close recipe! So good. Warm, comforting, and healthy. YUM!

  7. Butternut squash and lentils are my favorite combination together! They taste so hearty and are super filling. 😀 And I just had dal saag today! I might have to add butternut squash with it too!

  8. I made this as the vegetarian main dish in our Friendsgiving celebration – it was a big hit! I literally just put all of the ingredients for the main dish in a rice cooker, set it to cook, and it came out wonderfully! Will make again!

  9. 5 stars
    I have already made this three times. I love the amount of spice and the balance of savory, sweet, and tangy. It’s the perfect fall meal!

  10. Hello! I’m looking forward to making this recipe. I do have one question as I’ve never cooked with butternut squash: does need to be cooked before you get the 2 cups of butter not squash out? I would love any pointers, thank you !

    1. Hi Rachael! No you do not need to cook it first, just cube the squash and then measure out 2 cups. Then cook as directed. Let me know if you have any other questions. Happy to help! Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂

  11. Is there any substitute that would allow me to cut back on the oil? My husband has a restricted fat diet, but we both really want to try this!!

    1. Sure! I would just use what you feel comfortable using. The recipe will be great, the oil is mostly for topping the dish anyway. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love this!

  12. I’m making the dal tonight! Can’t wait. I made the one pan lemon roasted salmon last night, delicious! Cookbook arriving next week. Great work Tieghan

  13. Yum! I added 1/2 cup of pumpkin puree to thicken it up a bit. Oh, it’s divine.
    And….I am loving your cookbook!

  14. Just discovered HBH on the day of the book release, where have I been?! Made this lovely dal and the naan bread for supper. My family loved it, my boys even ate it though it was pretty spicy for them, OK maybe only because if they did they got a 2nd naan bread 🙂
    Love it and will be trying more asap!

  15. Hey Tieghan
    This dal seems like a wonderful dish for (almost) fall! I’m so excited for the crisp weather and cozy meals! Also, happy early birthday! Do you have anything planned? I hope you keep having a lovely week and congratulations again on you book! ?

    1. Hey Kristin! So glad you are liking this recipe.. I think its just perfect for cooler nights! Thank you so much for the birthday wishes and on my book, I am so excited that you guys can now see it!!?

  16. Hey Tieghan! Just wanted to stop by and say hi, because I’m off to Barnes & Noble to see if they have the HBH cookbook!! I can’t wait to see it!! 😀

  17. I just got your cookbook in the mail and opened it right up. I’m going to go ahead and call myself your biggest fan. It is absolutely wonderful and I honestly don’t know what to make first- I want it all! My three year old sat on the ground flipping through it and saying, “I want that, I want that, we’ll make that– Ooooo look at this! Yummmm!” The photography is incredible and the combinations look fantastic. Each chapter is as good as the last! I’m a stay- at- home Mom now that is SO lucky to get to get to stay home with the best kids, but since having kids and staying home, I don’t get to be as creative as I used to be. Your recipes have made me fall in love with cooking, feel creative again, and everyone loves them. Thank you so much!

    1. Awh, you do not know how happy it makes me that you are loving the cookbook and that it is getting you back into cooking! Maybe you and your kids (depending on age) could make a recipe together? Thanks so much Amy!

  18. Hi Tieghan from Texas! Your book was waiting on my front porch when I got home yesterday! My hubs and I opened it right up and looked at every single page. Compliments from the hubs on your beautiful photography! The book is gorgeous and I am under orders from the Mr. to cook my way though it. HaHa Early Happy Birthday wishes to you. Congrats on the book, it is something very special and now has an honored spot on my kitchen cookbook bookshelf.

  19. So glad you’re having such a successful release of your cookbook! I’m not surprised at all. All the recipes I’ve tried from this blog have been wonderful. You have the talent and creativity to make fabulous meals and I am enjoying them immensely. Wishing you continued success. 🙂

  20. Congratulations on your cookbook Tieghan! It is absolutely stunning and filled to the brim with declicious looking recipes I cannot wait to try! So happy for your success and what it may bring you. Cheers!

  21. Looks and sounds delicious! I love dal. (Love sag paneer, too! I’d be interested in what you would do with that to make it even better!)

  22. This is the perfect way to blend summer into fall and the color of the dahl is spot on autumn! As always, sounds and looks too good not to try! Received my copy of your book yesterday and it was such a great feeling to hold your words and photographs in my hands. It is such a vibrant cookbook, as I knew it would be based on your blog. Can’t wait to dig in to the recipes. Congratulations and happy early birthday!

    1. Right? Kinda perfect for the weather turning a bit chillier. I hope you love the dal! I am so happy you are loving the book Jean!! You don’t know how happy that makes me & I hope you enjoy the recipes ?

  23. Happy early birthday (and congratulations) Tieghan! No better birthday present than “a giant ball of happy!” You surely deserve it, for all your hard work and the passion you have put into it!!! So looking forward to your newest ventures 🙂

  24. Hi,

    I am from Pakistan, and used to this type of food, however you always have such a different take on things which makes it so interesting to try. I added Saffron to the recipe and it was amazing.

  25. YUM ! Never made dal, but I think I’ll try this recipe ! It looks so delish !

    Also, your book ! OMG. I finished reading all the breakfast yesterday and couldn’t help myself and quickly browsed all the others recipe before having the time to fully read them.
    I can’t wait for the week-end so I can start planning my meal for next week exclusively from your book ! It’s a gem !

    1. So sorry about that! I like to use a yellow curry paste, but red will work too. Please let me know if you have any other questions. Hope you love the Dal! 🙂

  26. This recipe looks great. I have a vegan client that loves Indian food. I am going to suggest this to her on the next menu. Thank you!

  27. Hi

    I love your recipes, do at least one every week.

    Indian cuisine is my favourite so can’t wait to make this tomorrow. I like to make all my own sauces etc, so any recommendations for a recipe for the curry paste?

    Thanks – eagerly awaiting my pre-ordered copy of your recipe book!

  28. I just made a dal last night for dinner! Great minds right?! PS can’t wait to get my book next week. We’re a bit behind in the UK, but it looks amazing. Congrats.

    1. Haha that is too great! Hope yours tasted amazing for ya ? Oh and I hope you LOVE the cookbook when you get it! Thank you!