I love the flavors of Fall in this butternut squash and lentil dal! The dal comes together so easily in the Instant Pot. The tadka adds an additional layer of amazing flavor! Did you notice the pepita seeds, sage leaves and thyme sprigs in the tadka?!
What's in this Dal?
- Butternut Squash - I like to buy the package that's already peeled and cubed. Less work = easy dinner!
- Lentils - My go-to for any dal recipe is toor or tuvar dal (pigeon peas). It's a nice neutral flavored and hearty lentil. Plus it's a yellow lentil, which perfectly compliments the color of the butternut squash
- On sauté mode, slowly cook the onions, garlic and ginger for a few minutes.
- Then set the Instant Pot on pressure cook mode for the lentils, butternut squash, tomatoes and some water.
- You can leave the dal chunky or blend it smooth. This step is entirely up to you!
- Last but definitely not least, you want to that additional layer of flavor from the tadka. Heat up some oil and add your seasoning
So this is a pretty straightforward recipe, there's butternut squash and lentils and just a few aromatics for an additional zip of flavor. Other than that, just make sure you are adding enough salt for your taste.
You can use the typical Indian tadka ingredients like:
- Mustard seeds
- Cumin seeds
- Dried chili peppers
- Curry leaves
And you can also incorporate some fall herbs to the tadka!
- Pepita seeds
- Sage leaves
- Thyme sprigs
What to serve with this butternut squash and lentil dal?
For me, it's flavorful and hearty enough on its own. But it definitely pairs really well with some basmati rice or buttered naan. It's also great with roasted veggies, pasta, quinoa or even crusty bread!
For more dal recipes, check out: Instant Pot Dudhi Chana Dal (Bottle Gourd and Lentil Curry), Instant Pot Gujarati Dal
Butternut Squash and Lentil Dal
For Butternut Squash Dal
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion sliced
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 3 garlic cloves sliced
- 1 cup tuvar dal
- 3 cups water amount of water depends on the consistency you prefer
- 1 tomato quartered
- 2 teaspoons salt more to taste
- 3 cups butternut squash 1 butternut squash cubed
For Tempering Oil or Tadka
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 dried chili pepper
- ¼ teaspoon asafoetida
- 10-15 curry leaves
- 1 tablespoon pepita seeds
- 5 sage leaves optional
- 1 thyme sprig optional
- 2 tablespoons cilantro chopped
For Butternut Squash & Lentil Dal
- With the Instant Pot in saute mode, add oil to the pot. Once the oil heats up, add onion, ginger, garlic, stir to coat with oil. Cook for about 4 minutes, stirring often to ensure the garlic and onions do not burn.
- Add butternut squash, lentils, water and tomato into Instant Pot. Stir. Set to Pressure Cook, for 8 minutes. Allow for natural pressure release for at least 15 minutes.
- Once the pressure has released from the Instant Pot, open and allow to cool for about 10 minutes. For a smooth either use an immersion blender or scoop all of the contents to a jar blender and blend to a smooth consistency. Taste for salt.
For Tempering or Tadka
- Add oil to either a small saucepan or in your cleaned and dried Instant Pot insert on Saute mode. Allow the the oil to heat up.
- Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds to warmed oil. Once the seeds have sputtered add the chili pepper and asafoetida.
- Next add the curry leaves and pepita seeds but take care as the oil usually splatters when the leaves hit. Lastly add the sage leaves and thyme sprigs, if using, again take care for splatter.
- Allow all of the tempering ingredients to fuse into the oil for just a few seconds. If using the Instant Pot for the tempering, slowly pour the butternut squash and lentil dal into the Instant Pot and stir to combine the dal with the seasoned oil. If using a small saucepan, remove the oil from the heat. Transfer the butternut squash and lentil dal to a large soup pot. Slowly add the seasoned oil to the dal and stir. Serve the dal warm.