Baked Pumpkin & Red Lentil Dal


1 medium to large sized pumpkin

2 tbsp olive oil

1 finely chopped red onion

4 minced cloves of garlic

1 tbsp minced ginger

6 cherry tomatoes

1 finely chopped small chilli (optional)

250g red lentils

400ml tin coconut milk

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 heaped tsp turmeric

3 tsp curry powder of choice (I prefer garam masala)

1 vegetable stock cube

seeds of half a pomegranate

chopped parsley

coconut yoghurt


Start by cutting the top off your pumpkin and scooping out the seeds.

Cover the pumpkin in tinfoil and place in an oven, heated at 180 degrees celsius for 2 hours.

Once the pumpkin is cooked enough to pierce easily with a knife, take it out of the oven and allow to cool.

(If there’s excess water in the base, either tip it out carefully or use a large spoon to get it out.)

When the pumpkin has cooled, scoop the flesh into a bowl, leaving enough inside the pumpkin to stop it from collapsing inside itself (about three quarters of an inch thick).

Mash the flesh, using a masher or blender depending on preferred consistency.

Put your lentils into a bowl along with 400ml of water and leave to soak until needed.

Place a large pot on a medium high heat and add 1 tbsp oil.

Once the oil is sizzling, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds, as it becomes fragrant add the garlic, ginger, chilli, onion and tomatoes.

(If they stick at all, simply add small amounts of water.)

Leave for a couple minutes until the vegetables have softened.

Heat your oven to 200 degrees celsius.

Add the rest of the spices, along with the pumpkin mash that you made earlier, the lentils and water.

Stir for a couple of minutes before adding the coconut milk, stock cube, salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place the hollowed pumpkin onto a baking tray and rub the outside with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

When your dal has thickened, ladle it into the pumpkin right to the top and place into the oven for 30 minutes.

(Any dal that doesn’t fit into the pumpkin, place into a container and enjoy later in the week.)

Once the pumpkin dal has been in the oven for 30 minutes, the outer skin should be crispy and browned.

Take it out and garnish with parsley, pomegranate seeds and coconut yoghurt.

Ladle the dal into portions before slicing the pumpkin into pieces and plating alongside!

Best served with chapattis or rice. Enjoy! x

Ps. just to note that you can do this recipe using a large butternut squash too, which is delicious! And if you're not fussed about displaying it in a pumpkin you can skip those steps and simply use the mash of a pumpkin/butternut squash and bake the dal in a deep dish.