Thursday, October 31, 2013

Pumpkin Masoor Dal | Yellow Pumpkin with Red Lentils

Happy Halloween guys :)
It is just coincidental that I am posting a pumpkin dish on Halloween's day :) Hope all of you who are celebrating this day, are having loads of fun!!
Lentils or Dal has always been a family favourite. A simple preparation with a good mix of spices and a mild tempering, a dal makes for a perfect serve along with rotis as well as rice. And when it is rice that is teamed with dal, it has got to be Jeera rice for us. Plain rice is good, but Jeera rice helps enhance the flavour of dal. Have you tried this pairing yet?
Whenever I am in the lentils section of a grocery supermarket, the variety of colours and shapes of the various types of lentils captures my attention. I can just go on a rampage and pick a packet of each variant! Oh well, I am very very fond of trying out new varieties of lentils.

I love how each variant of dal has its own unique flavour and texture when cooked. My current favourite is the red lentils or Masoor dal. Though its beautiful pink colour vanishes once it is cooked, its flavour, oh my... is simply yummilicious! And to make it even more appealing, these lentils cook real fast.
In most of my dals, I try to sneak in some veggies to enhance the nutritive value of the dish. Dal Palak features very often at home and now, this Pumpkin Dal is a new family favourite. The hubby simply LOVES it :) The soft pieces of pumpkin beautifully compliments the flavour of the masoor dal. And we like our dals on the thicker side, so the pumpkin pieces enhances this texture.


Serves: 2-3

Masoor Dal | Red Lenthils - 1 cup
Yellow Pumpkin - 10-12 pieces about 1 inch in size
(I used a palm sized portion, cut into 1 inch cubes.)
Onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 1 medium
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Red Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 tsp
Dried Fenugreek Leaves | Kasurimethi leaves - a pinch (a little more fo garnish)
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon Stick - 1
Oil - 1 tbsp
Water - a little
Salt - to taste

  • Chop the onion and tomato into small cubes.
  • Wash the masoor dal, drain out water and keep aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and allow to splatter.
  • Add Cinnamon stick and broken star anise pieces.
  • Add the chopped onions and fry till golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.Add salt and ginger-garlic paste. Mix well.
  • Toss in the pumpkin pieces and mix well.
  • Now, add the washed dal and stir again.
  • To this add the turmeric powder, chilly powder, garam masala, cumin powder and kasurimethi.
  • Add sufficient water enough to cover the mixture such that the water level is about 1 inch above the mixture. Pressure cook on medium high flame for about 15-20 minutes with at least 4-5 whistles.
  • Mix all the ingredients well. Garnish with a pinch more of dried fenugreek elaves and serve hot with rotis or rice.


  1. Hello Nandita, I am enjoying healthy dishes landing up in my dashboard from your blog one after the other. What a healthy way of incorporating the humble pumpkin in your diet! Loved the touch of halloween with the pumpkin face!

  2. Pumpkin and Masoor Dal sound like a great combo. Healthy and so delicious! Beautiful pics too!

  3. Loved the idea of such an Indian recipe for Halloween..and the dal looks amazing and so healthy