Pumpkin and red lentil dahl.

This morning blew in with ferocity, and I discovered too late that today was not a day for stockings.

And as I walked to the bus, everything from the knees down caught the spray on the wind and was freezing. But I was smug, because I knew this was coming and planned accordingly. Maybe not my outfits, but I planned our meal and it was perfect. Take that, nature – I had plans to warm my bones before you even thought to try and chill them.

So, here we are again! Another Meatless Monday, another blog carnival, and another delicious meat-free dish. For bonus points, it’s also vegan!

Pumpkin and red lentil dahl

(Serves four to six, generously)

  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp. (heaping) minced fresh ginger
  • 2 jalapeño or other hot peppers, minced
  • 1 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1 tsp. ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 2 lbs. pumpkin (or other winter squash), peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 14 oz. can coconut milk
  • Water
  • 2 tsp. salt, or to taste
  • Cilantro for garnish

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions, garlic, ginger, and peppers, and sauté until onions are translucent. Stir in cumin, chili powder, mustard powder, turmeric, coriander, and cinnamon.

Add pumpkin and lentils, and stir to coat in spices. Pour in coconut milk, then enough water to just cover pumpkin and lentils (three to four cups). Add salt. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Cook for 25 to 30 minutes, until lentils have swelled and broken, and most of the liquid has been absorbed. Taste, adjust seasonings as needed.

Let rest, uncovered, five minutes before serving.

Serve with rice, garnished with sliced lime, cilantro, dried chilies, and yogurt. Sop up the warm, slightly sweet and spicy stew with warm, naan bread, either store-bought or homemade, and if you’re going to make homemade, this recipe is pretty excellent.

Feel smug. And enjoy, preferably with a cup of tea or a glass of chilled off-dry white wine. Fail to miss summer, perhaps for the first time this season.

12 thoughts on “Pumpkin and red lentil dahl.

  1. Glad you liked the naan bread! I’ve made a curry lentil stew before with squash and tofu and it’s delicious – this one sounds perfect too. Always love the addition of coconut milk. Boo rain!


  2. Oh, shoot, now I really have remorse at not buying red lentils the other day… but the price was THROUGH the ROOF! What has happened there?

    I love the idea of pairing them with pumpkin. I do like ’em with dark yellows… but I often wonder if all I eat are carrots anymore? This would hit the spot.


    1. Really?! I still get them for super cheap. Which is why we continue to eat them 🙂

      The pumpkin was really nice, though I suppose it could work with carrots. The texture would be a bit off. Butternut squash would also be nice!


  3. I am not kidding: almost SEVEN dollars for a pound and a half. Now, I love me some red lentils, but I suspect my market has lost its mind. I’m going to have hubby check the market across town, though, just in case it’s only the one.


    1. Wow, that’s insane! They’re not even that much at Whole Foods. I think your market might actually have lost its mind.


  4. delicious recipe! I’m a vegetarian and never eat enough lentils so this will definitely become part of my regular recipes list 🙂


  5. I just made this for the second time, having printed the recipe out first time round because it was so good. This time we put small naans in the bowls and spooned the dal on top so they soaked in the flavour – even better!

    Thank you.


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