Easy lentil and squash dal with rice

This is a fantastic hearty option for instant camping dinner. Make a big batch and bag them up for the hiking season.

I adapted the Dirty Gourmet’s excellent recipe to my taste and what I had on hand, then paired it with instant rice for a quick backcountry dinner.

Makes 6 serves.


  • 1 cup red lentils
  • Half a butternut squash, chopped finely
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped finely
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped finely
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp of dal spice blend (ground coriander, chilli, cumin, turmeric, mustard, fenugreek, ginger)

To serve:

  • 1 cup / 100g instant rice per 2-person dinner.


At home:

  1. Heat a small amount of oil in a large saucepan and gently cook the squash, celery and garlic until softened.
  2. Add the spice blend and stir for a minute, then do the same with the tomato.
  3. Add lentils and 3 1/2 cups of water. Stir well and simmer for 20 minutes. Add salt to taste.
  4. Your dal is now delicious and ready to eat, but don’t let yourself eat it all now! Spread in thin layers on the dehydrator sheets, or spread on baking paper for oven dehydrating.
  5. After 5 hours at 135F, test your dal. It should be crumbly and ready to bag. Prepare bags of 100g for dinner for 2 people.

At camp:

  1. Boil 2 cups water. Add 1/2 cup water to the rice, cover and let sit.
  2. Add 1 cup water to dal and stir. Add a little more water as needed to get right consistency. Let sit for 5 minutes, then heat gently until ready.

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