Hassle-back Butternut Squash, Lentil & Chickpea Salad With a Curry Leaf Chimichurri Dressing

by Zars Kitchen Admin
Hassle-back Butternut Squash, Lentil & Chickpea Salad With a Curry Leaf Chimichurri Dressing

I love curry leaves right now… they have such a distinctive, fresh, almost lemongrass like flavour, which I can’t get enough of.  I played around with some flavours and made a spicy, tangy curry leaf chimichurri dressing to pour all over the sweet squash and crunchy salad.

The curry leaves were toasted in a pan with mustard seeds, then added to the food processor, fresh coriander, garlic, lots of olive oil, crushed red pepper, paprika, ground cumin, and white vinegar and some chaat masala.  

I made the salad with brown lentils and chickpeas (I love the convenience of the ready cooked OddPods packet ones), finely chopped red onions, red peppers, cucumber and fresh mint. 

The hassle-back squash is not as hard as it looks (I promise), it makes a fab table centrepiece, but you can just as easily cube the squash and roast it in the oven if you prefer.  It’s definitely a winner dish that I can’t wait to make again, a fantastic option for veg day, and it’s vegan too!

Hassle-back Butternut Squash, Lentil & Chickpea Salad With a Curry Leaf Chimichurri Dressing
Serves: 6 Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )


  • 1 Butternut Squash, halved, peeled and deseeded
  • Olive Oil
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g Chickpeas cooked
  • 200g Brown lentils cooked
  • ½ Cucumber, deseeded, diced small
  • ½ Red Pepper, deseeded, diced small
  • 1 Red Onion, finely chopped
  • Small handful fresh Mint chopped fine
  • Large handful Curry leaves, stem removed
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 8 cloves garlic
  • 250ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1.5 tsp Cumin ground
  • 2 tbsp White wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Chaat Masala powder
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C
  2. Place the squash onto an oven tray, cut side down, brush with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Remember to brush the tray with a little oil so the squash doesn’t stick.
  3. Bake the squash in the oven for 15 mins to soften slightly
  4. Remove from the oven and place on a chopping board
  5. Place chopsticks on either side of one squash half. This helps you not to cut all the way through the squash!
  6. With a sharp knife, deeply score the squash in your desired pattern, being careful not to cut all the way through
  7. Place the squash back on the oven tray, brush with more oil and bake until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
  8. In a pan on medium heat with a little oil, toast the curry leaves and mustard seeds until the leaves start to crisp and the mustard seeds begin popping.
  9. Place the toasted leaves on absorbent paper to drain, then transfer to a food processor with all the other dressing ingredients, blitz until all combined.
  10. Add all the salad ingredients in a large bowl, then pour in half the dressing and mix well. Taste and adjust salt, pepper, chilli to your liking.
  11. Tip the salad onto a large serving dish, then carefully lift the butternut squash from the tray (I used two flat flexible turners to help me) and place the squash on top of the salad
  12. Pour the remaining dressing over the squash and serve at room temperature
  13. Enjoy!
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