I absolutely love this recipe for yellow lentils with crispy squash. Seasoned, roasted squash provides great textural contrast to the creamy yellow lentils.
This recipe for yellow lentils with crispy squash is filled to the brim with flavors, thanks to spicy chili peppers, curry leaves, and plenty of garlic and ginger. Spices like cumin, chili powder, turmeric, and garam masala add even richer flavors to the lentils.
The squash is roasted in a little oil and spices, including cumin, chili powder, and paprika and roasted until crispy for about 30 minutes.
How to Make this Yellow Lentils with Crispy Squash:
This recipe is so delicious and easy to prepare. Start by soaking the lentils. You will want to soak them for at least 30 minutes to 1 hour. While the lentils soak, use that time to prepare the rest of your ingredients.
You can move on to sautéing your aromatics starting with the onion. Once it is softened and beginning to darken in color, add the mustard seeds until they begin to pop a little. From there, simply add the garlic, ginger, red Fresno, and curry leaves and sauté for a minute or two.
Once the aromatics are fragrant, add the tomatoes, lentils, and stock. Bring to a boil and add the spices. From there, simmer the lentils, covered, for about 40 minutes. Remove the top and season the lentils again and simmer, uncovered, for about 30 minutes more. You will want to stir the lentils periodically as they simmer. If the lentils are sticking, add more stock or water to loosen them up.
During the last 30 minutes, preheat your oven and toss the squash with oil and the spices. Bake for the remaining 30 minutes until the squash is well-browned and crisping up around the edges.
Serve the lentils in shallow bowls and pile the delicious, crispy squash on top! You can serve with a bit of cilantro for a little pop of fresh flavor at the end.
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Yellow Lentils with Crispy Squash
- Wide pot
- Sheet pan
- 2 teaspoons avocado oil
- 1 yellow onion peeled and diced
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1 red Fresno chili pepper trimmed and minced
- 6 cloves garlic peeled and minced
- 2 teaspoons freshly minced ginger
- 15 curry leaves optional
- 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup yellow split lentils soaked and drained
- 4 cups vegetable stock plus more as needed
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Fresh cilantro leaves optional, for serving
- 1 delicata squash trimmed, halved, and deseeded; cut into thin half-moons
- 1 acorn squash trimmed, halved, and deseeded; cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- Salt and pepper to taste
Soak the Lentils:
- Cover the lentils with water and soak for 30 minutes to 1 hour as you prepare the ingredients. Drain and set aside.
Sauté the Aromatics:
- Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, for 6-7 minutes until softened. Add the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop, about 45 seconds.
- Add the red Fresno, garlic, ginger, and curry leaves and cook for 1 minute more until fragrant.
Simmer the Lentils:
- Pour in the tomatoes, stock, and lentils and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, and garam masala. Reduce heat and cover for 40 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the lentils from sticking. As necessary, add more stock to loosen up the lentils as they cook.
Finish Cooking the Lentils:
- Remove the lid from the pot and taste the lentils and season to your preference. Turn the heat to medium-low and continue cooking, uncovered, for 30 minutes more until the lentils have softened. Taste and season again to your preference and add more liquid as necessary as the lentils continue cooking.
Prepare the Squash:
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- During the last 30 minutes of the lentils cooking, prepare the squash. Arrange the squash in an even layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle with paprika, cumin, and chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven for 30 minutes until the squash is crispy around the edges and cooked through.
- Divide the cooked lentils between shallow bowls and garnish with the squash. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro, if desired!