- Media Credit: Richa Hingle

Red Lentil Butternut Squash Curry

With elements from South Indian cuisine, this rich and thick red lentil curry has a simple tempering of mustard seeds and is finished with creamy coconut milk.


1 Minutes Read

With elements from South Indian cuisine, this rich and thick red lentil curry has a simple tempering of mustard seeds and is finished with creamy coconut milk.
Duration13 mins
Cook Time3 mins
Prep Time10 mins
Servings4 servings


  • 1 teaspoon safflower or sunflower oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 medium size red onion finely chopped (about ¾ cup [120 g])
  • 1 1 inch [2.5 cm] piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves finely chopped (about 2 teaspoons) 1 hot green chile, such as serrano, finely chopped 3/4 teaspoon plus a pinch of salt, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala or curry powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or cayenne pepper or both, or more to taste
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups [225 g])
  • 3/4 cup 175 ml water
  • 12 ounces 340 g uncooked butternut squash or pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch (2 cm) cubes (3 cups), or use frozen
  • 1 14 ounce [400 g] can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/3 cup 60 g dried split red lentils (masoor dal) 3 to 4 ounces (85 to 115 g) baby spinach
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Red pepper flakes
  • Chopped fresh cilantro


  • Preheat the Instant Pot by selecting the Sauté setting.
  • Heat the oil in the preheated pot for a few seconds, then add the mustard seeds and leave for about 30 seconds, or until they start to splutter.
  • Add the onion, ginger, garlic, chile, and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is translucent, about 2 minutes.
  • Stir in the turmeric, garam masala, and black pepper and cook for 30 seconds.
  • Add the tomato and 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the water and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking, until the tomato is softened, about 2 minutes.
  • Add the butternut squash, coconut milk, remaining 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) of water. Add the lentils to the pot, and give it a good stir to combine and scrape up any bits of tomato from the bottom of the pot. Select the Cancel setting.
  • Lock the lid into place, set the Pressure Release Knob to Sealing, select the Pressure Cook/Manual setting at high pressure, and set the cook time to 3 minutes.
  • Once the cooking cycle is done, carefully set the Pressure Release Knob from Sealing to Venting to quick release. Open the lid and fold in the spinach to wilt it. Taste for seasoning, adjusting if needed.
  • Garnish with lime juice, red pepper flakes, and cilantro. Serve over rice or wit h vegan flatbread or fresh vegan dinner rolls.
This recipe was republished with permission from Vegan Richa. Find the original recipe in ‘Vegan Richa’s Instant Pot™ Cookbook’ which you can purchase here!
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The Author

Richa Hingle

Hi, I am Richa. I am the award winning recipe developer, blogger, and photographer behind VeganRicha.com. My instructions are easy to follow and step-by-step photographs welcome the uninitiated into their kitchen as vouched by millions of readers. I love to show people how easy it is to cook vegan Indian and other cuisines.

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