Pumpkin Dal


Cause’ tonight is the night when two become one and its DALICIOUS!!!

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My fridge may not always be stocked up but my pantry always is! I make sure I am always fully stocked with dried herbs, spices, lentils, noodles, pasta, ghee, mustard oil and olive oil. These are few of my favourite things. In terms of fresh produce I always tend to buy fruits and vegetables that are in season. This way you get the best produce, for a fraction of a cost and there is hardly any wastage.

So one night when all I had in my fridge was half a pumpkin and curry leaves. I wasn’t sure what to do with them, until I looked in my pantry and found a can of brown lentils and black sesame seeds. Just like that this dish came together. Serve it with a side of steamed rice or naan bread or just eat it like a soup, it’s delicious.

Ingredients: 15  Cooking time: 30 minutes

Serves: 4

  • Half a pumpkin, cubed ( I used kent pumpkin)
  • One can (400gms) of brown lentils
  • One red onion, finely sliced
  • One tomato, finely chopped
  • 8 -10 fresh curry leaves
  • Three to four garlic pods, coarsely chopped
  • Half a bunch of coriander (stem and leaves), coarsely chopped
  • Two to three green chillies, finely chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • One teaspoon of mustard seeds
  • One teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Half a teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to season
  • Two tablespoons of mustard oil
  • One tablespoon toasted sesame seeds (for garnish)

Heat mustard oil in a pan. Add garlic, once aromatic add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chillies and curry leaves. Once the mustard seeds begin to splutter and curry leaves start crackling, add onion, coriander stem and cook until onions are lightly browned.  

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Now add the tomato, cook on a medium heat until the tomato is soft. Then add pumpkin cubes and turmeric powder. Mix well. Finally add the lentils (rinse thoroughly before adding them to the dish), four cups of water, lemon juice and season with salt. Cover the pan with a lid and let the dal simmer for 15-20 minutes.  

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Now add the remaining coriander, stir the dal well. Let it simmer for another five to seven minutes.The pumpkin should now be really tender and the lentils broken down. This gives the dal a smooth texture.   

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Your lip smackingly delicious pumpkin dal is now ready to serve. Garnish it with toasted black sesame seeds and serve on a bed of steamed rice or with some naan or just devour it by itself. Foodgasm is guaranteed. 

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