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Cheat's courgette dhal recipe

Cheat's courgette dhal recipe

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This creamy, vegan red lentil dhal uses a jar of curry sauce for ease, topped with crispy red onions and served on bed of rice. A delicious way to get all the family eating their veg and pulses. See method

  • Serves 4
  • Takes 1 hr
  • 627 calories / serving
  • Freezable
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Dairy-free


  • 250g dried red lentils
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 courgettes, halved lengthways and thinly sliced
  • 2 red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1½ tbsp tomato purée
  • 440g jar curry sauce
  • 1 vegetable stock pot
  • 300g long-grain rice, rinsed well
  • 1 lime, zested and cut into wedges
  • 15g fresh coriander, roughly chopped
If you don't have red lentils, you can try using green lentils instead

Each serving contains

  • Energy

  • Fat

    10g 14%
  • Saturates

    1g 7%
  • Sugars

    12g 14%
  • Salt

    2g 34%

of the reference intake
Carbohydrate 102.2g Protein 24.7g Fibre 14.5g


  1. Put the lentils in a large bowl, cover with cold water and leave to soak until needed. While the lentils are soaking, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large, lidded saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the courgettes, half the onions and some seasoning, then fry for 8-10 mins until softened.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the remaining onions in the flour. Heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium- high heat and fry the onions for 10-12 mins, stirring regularly, until deep golden brown and crispy. Reduce the heat if they start to darken too quickly. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper and leave to cool; they will crisp up more once cooled.
  3. While the onions cool, add the garlic and tomato purée to the courgette pan, and cook for 2 mins. Add the curry sauce, then refill the jar with water and add to the pan with the stock pot. Drain and rinse the lentils, then add to the pan. Bring to a simmer, then bubble on a low-medium heat for 25-30 mins, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are cooked. Add a splash of water if it’s too thick.
  4. Meanwhile, put the rice in a large, lidded saucepan with 700ml water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 12-15 mins until the water has been absorbed. Set aside for 5-10 mins, still covered, until needed.
  5. Stir the lime zest and most of the coriander into the dhal. Divide the rice between bowls and top with the dhal, crispy onions, lime wedges and remaining coriander to serve.

Freezing and defrosting guidelines

Freeze dhal only. In order to enjoy optimum flavour and quality, frozen items are best used within 3 months of their freezing date. For more tips on freezing and defrosting food, read our article Love Your Freezer.

See more Vegan curry recipes

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