Dal, daal, dhal or dahl? A rose by any other name would smell as sweet…

However you choose to spell it, this dish is perfect for what remaining cool weather we might have left.

Serves: 4

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes


For the dal:

  • 2 tbsp groundnut/flavourless oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 bird’s-eye chilli
  • a few coriander stalks
  • 2 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 3 large tomatoes
  • 550g pumpkin
  • 250g red split lentils
  • 1L vegetable stock

For serving:

  • steamed rice
  • fresh coriander
  • natural yoghurt
  • fresh chillies
  • nan bread


  1. Place a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the groundnut or another flavourless oil to the pan. Finely chop the onion, chilli and coriander stalks and add to the pan. Fry until softened. Add in the garlic and ginger pastes and cook for a further minute before adding in the ground spices.
  2. Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add to the onion and spices. Stir well to coat and cook for 5 minutes.
  3. Peel and deseed the pumpkin and chop into 1-inch cubes. Once the tomatoes have softened, add the pumpkin and lentils to the pan. Stir well to combine and finish off with the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 20–25 minutes, or until the lentils have thickened into a dal consistency. Season to taste.
  4. To finish, serve the dal over steamed rice and top with fresh coriander, natural yoghurt and fresh chilli slices. Serve a few pieces of warm nan bread on the side.

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