Creamy and hearty Roasted Pumpkin Red Lentil Dhal Recipe – created with either fresh or frozen pumpkin and coconut milk. Full of flavour and deliciously warming as a quick and easy mid-week dinner.
Dhal has been one of my go-to quick and easy mid-week meals for the past few years. It’s simply so easy to make, perfectly hearty and filling – in short: the perfect lazy midweek meal! Over my years being vegan I’ve tried a number of dhal flavour combinations, but I’m always sticking to making my dhals with red lentils – I simply love their texture, hence why it was a no-brainer for me to go with them as well for my roasted pumpkin red lentil dhal recipe.
What you need for this Roasted Pumpkin Red Lentil Dhal Recipe
- fresh or frozen pumpkin chunks (see notes below if you only have tinned pumpkin to hand)
- olive oil
- curry powder (I used Madras Curry powder)
- cinnamon (I get mine in bulk from Buywholefoodsonline)
- coconut milk (full-fat is the best)
- dried red lentils
To serve it’s also great to have some dairy-free coconut yoghurt and fresh (or dried) coriander to hand.
- oven & lined oven tray
- a blender
- a large non-stick pan
How to make Roasted Pumpkin Dhal
Roasting the pumpkin
To make this delicious and warming meal, we’re starting with the roasted pumpkin element of the dish.
I’ve used frozen pumpkin on this occasion – every autumn when I stock up on pumpkin I wash, peel, de-seed and cube my pumpkin and keep it in the freezer, so I can enjoy the deliciousness of the pumpkin for longer than just the autumn season. In a dish like this is where those pumpkin cubes come in handy! However, if you want to make this recipe with tinned pumpkin instead, see the recipe notes below – it turns out super delicious also, it’s just not as full of flavour as the roasted pumpkin version.
Heat your oven to 200C (390F) and place the pumpkin cubes onto a lined baking tray, drizzle and toss in a little olive oil and place it in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes. The pumpkin chunks should be soft with lightly browned edges. Transfer the roasted pumpkin to a blender or food processor and process until you get a smooth pumpkin puree. If your blender or processor struggles, add a little bit of water until it transforms into a smooth paste.
Creating the dhal
During the last 10 minutes of the roasting process, you can already begin with creating the dhal. To begin with, heat the rest of the oil in a large non-stick pan and cook your diced onion until translucent – this should only take a few minutes.
Add in the minced garlic, cook for a further minute, and then add the cinnamon, a sprinkle of salt and the curry powder of your choice to the pan – I love using Madras curry powder, it’s one of my favourite curry flavours! Toast all the spices for a minute or two until they become fragrant, then add the red lentils. I like to also ‘toast’ these for 2 minutes, before adding the roasted pumpkin puree and coconut milk to the pan.
Stir well to combine everything, then reduce the heat to a minimum and allow for the dhal to simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the lentils have softened and soaked up the majority of the liquid. The dhal should be thick, but creamy, so if it’s a little dry, add some water until you get the desired consistency.
Serve your dhal with a spoonful of refreshing coconut yoghurt and fresh coriander.
This recipe is:
- 100% vegan
- super creamy and warming
- full of flavour
- naturally gluten-free
- delicious and filling
- quick and easy to make
- easily adaptable if you don’t have fresh or frozen pumpkin to hand
Deliciously creamy & warming roasted pumpkin red lentil dhal – made with fresh or tinned pumpkin, red lentils and coconut milk.
- 400g fresh or frozen pumpkin chunks (weight before roasting)
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- a sprinkle of salt
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 Tbsp Madras curry powder
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tins coconut milk
- 250g red lentils
- a little water
- extra curry powder to taste (see notes)
- coriander (fresh or dried)
- coconut yoghurt
- Preheat your oven to 200C and place your pumpkin chunks onto a lined baking tray. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil and roast it in the oven for 30-40 minutes or until soft with browning edges. Transfer the soft pumpkin to a blender or food processor and blend until you’ve got a smooth pumpkin paste. If your blender struggles, add a little bit of water.
- Heat the rest of the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add in the diced onion and sauté for 2 minutes before adding the crushed garlic.
- Add in all of the spices: cinnamon, salt and Madras curry powder and allow for them to toast and become fragrant for 1-2 minutes, then add in the red lentils. Stir and cook in the hot pan for 2 minutes, then add the roasted pumpkin puree and coconut milk and reduce the heat to low. Gradually bring to a simmer whilst stirring regularly, allowing for the red lentils to soak up the liquid.
- Simmer for about 10-15 minutes until the lentils have soaked up the majority of the liquid, your roasted pumpkin dhal should still be creamy at this point – optionally, add a little bit of water until you get the right thick, creamy consistency.
- Serve the roasted pumpkin dhal with a spoonful of coconut yoghurt and fresh coriander.
If you don’t have a fresh or frozen pumpkin to hand, you can also use tinned pumpkin – use 1 tin on this occasion and skip the roasting steps.
The spice and flavour of the dhal are mostly down to the type of curry powder you add to the dhal. On this occasion, I’ve used a Masala spice blend, which is quite spicey on its own, so I don’t add too much of it. Feel free to adjust the amount you add based on the powder you use and your personal taste.
Keywords: pumpkin curry, pumpkin dhal, pumpkin dahl, pumpkin dhal recipe, roasted pumpkin, vegan dhal recipe
Also, give these other recipes a try: