Savory Indian-spiced red lentils are simmered with chunks of juicy pumpkin in this cozy pumpkin dal.
I’m just going to come out and say it: I’ll take pretty much any excuse I can get to throw pumpkin into just about anything. And I really don’t need much of an excuse, do I? Just this week I noticed some of last year’s pumpkin recipes coming back to life via little traffic spurts. I take that as a sign that you guys are just as into the whole pumpkin thing as I am, so let’s get rolling.
This one just occurred to me randomly. I love pumpkin in sweet recipes, but I really love savory pumpkin, especially when teamed up with some warming spices. Pumpkin and dal seemed like the perfect match.
The pumpkin chunks make for a nice sweet contrast to the lentils. I’m betting when you eat this you’ll find yourself digging out a pumpkin chunk to go with every bite.
You’ll need about a half of an average-sized sugar pumpkin for this, so it’s the perfect recipe to hang on to for those days when you’re likely to have some leftover from pie or some other recipe. If that’s not so likely, or if cracking open a pumpkin is just too much of a pain for you, feel free to sub your favorite sweet winter squash. I’m sure butternut, kabocha and delicata would all be awesome in here.
Red Lentil Pumpkin Dal
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tbsp. fresh grated ginger
- 1 serrano chili pepper, seeded and minced (optional)
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp. turmeric
- 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2-3 dried red chile peppers, to taste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1-14 oz. can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup split red lentils
- 2 cups diced sugar pumpkin, 1 inch cubes, about 1/2 of an average sugar pumpkin
- 1/2 cup coconut milk, from a can
- salt and pepper to taste
- fresh cilantro
- cooked basmati rice
Coat the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan with oil and place over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, serrano pepper (if using), cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and dried chili peppers. Sauté 1 minute more, until fragrant.
Add broth, tomatoes, lentils and pumpkin. Stir a few times to incorporate and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until lentils and pumpkin are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in coconut milk and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Divide among bowls and serve with rice and cilantro.
Nutrition information does not include rice.