Home > Eat > Recipe > Recipe: Malaysian Squash and Courgette Rendang with Red Lentils

Recipe: Malaysian Squash and Courgette Rendang with Red Lentils

It seems fairly obvious that curries don’t always have to have meat as the stand-out ingredient but then, when it comes to actually cooking a veggie curry, sometimes the inspiration for what to use as a ‘replacement’ can be tricky.

Not with this recipe from Jo Pratt’s latest cookbook The Flexible Vegetarian making use of some of our favourite seasonal vegetables.

Jo Pratt explains: “This is a regular in my house and I’ll often make double the amount of curry paste and keep it in a jar in the fridge for future quick-prep suppers. The squash, red pepper and courgette provide fabulous colour, and the added split red lentils result in a thick sauce that’s nutritionally balanced.”

Recipe: Malaysian Squash and Courgette Rendang with Red Lentils


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars
(No Ratings Yet)
Profile Photo
Maria Bell

Maria Bell is a photographer and editor from the Isle of Wight. Talk to her about food and/or photography and she'll always be listening.



olive oil 8–10 cardamom pods, crushed

1 cinnamon stick

½ tsp whole cloves

3 kaffir lime leaves, torn into quarters

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3–4cm/1¼–1½ inch chunks

1 red (bell) pepper, deseeded and cut into 2–3cm/¾–1¼ inch chunks

150g/7 oz red split lentils

400ml/14 fl oz tin coconut milk

400ml/14 fl oz/12⁄3 cups vegetable stock

handful coconut flakes

1 tbsp agave or maple syrup

2 medium courgettes (zucchini), cut into 2–3cm/ ¾–1¼ inch chunks

flaked sea salt

lime wedges, to serve

For the spice paste:

4 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped

4 cloves garlic, peeled

1 stalk lemongrass, roughly chopped

2½cm/1 inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

2½cm/1 inch piece galangal, peeled and roughly chopped

1 tsp turmeric

2 long red chillies, roughly chopped

1 tbsp tamarind paste

1 tbsp sunflower or groundnut oil

1 tsp flaked sea salt

Flexible Tip: The spice paste can be used in the same way as above to make a chicken rendang. Swap the squash, lentils and courgette for 4 large chicken breasts (cut into chunks) and cook as above. You won’t need to use the vegetable stock as this is only needed when using lentils. Reduce the simmering time to just 10 minutes in total, rather than 20 minutes. If you fancy adding a vegetable such as baby corn or green beans, then add them when the chicken is half cooked.


To make the spice paste, put all the ingredients into a small food processor or blender and blitz to form a smooth paste. Set aside or keep covered in the fridge for up to 1 week.


Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the paste and fry for a minute or so. Add the cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, cloves and lime leaves. Fry for a further minute, then add the butternut squash, red pepper and lentils. Stir around to coat in the paste, then pour in the coconut milk and stock. Bring to a simmer, cover with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.


Meanwhile, heat a small dry frying pan over a medium heat. Add the coconut flakes and agave/maple syrup, and toss around in the pan until golden and crisp. Remove from the heat.


Stir the courgette into the curry. Return to a simmer and continue to cook, with the lid off, for a further 10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.


Serve the curry in bowls and scatter over the coconut. Serve with lime to squeeze over.


Your dream holiday destination

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...
Leave A Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.


RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL






join us on instagram


join us on instagram

Out Now!

Rachel Khoo's Simple Pleasures e-cookbook.

Over 24 recipes that find those good food moments in everyday ingredients. Ranging from roast chicken parcels with a crunchy slaw, a summer salad that celebrates the best of the seasons, utterly moreish cake pesto bites to a deliciously decadent dark chocolate pudding with caramel shards.

All the recipes are featured in Rachel Khoo’s Simple pleasures TV show.

100% of the proceeds* from this book will be donated to Film and TV charity UK

(charity number 1099660)

Skip to toolbar