Red Lentil Pumpkin Dal

Jump to Recipe Print Recipe

Savory Indian-spiced red lentils are simmered with chunks of juicy pumpkin in this cozy pumpkin dal.

I’m just going to come out and say it: I’ll take pretty much any excuse I can get to throw pumpkin into just about anything. And I really don’t need much of an excuse, do I? Just this week I noticed some of last year’s pumpkin recipes coming back to life via little traffic spurts. I take that as a sign that you guys are just as into the whole pumpkin thing as I am, so let’s get rolling.

This one just occurred to me randomly. I love pumpkin in sweet recipes, but I really love savory pumpkin, especially when teamed up with some warming spices. Pumpkin and dal seemed like the perfect match.

The pumpkin chunks make for a nice sweet contrast to the lentils. I’m betting when you eat this you’ll find yourself digging out a pumpkin chunk to go with every bite.

You’ll need about a half of an average-sized sugar pumpkin for this, so it’s the perfect recipe to hang on to for those days when you’re likely to have some leftover from pie or some other recipe. If that’s not so likely, or if cracking open a pumpkin is just too much of a pain for you, feel free to sub your favorite sweet winter squash. I’m sure butternut, kabocha and delicata would all be awesome in here.

Like this recipe? If so, be sure to follow me on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram, or subscribe to my newsletter. And please stop back and leave me a review and rating below if you make it!

5 from 14 votes Print

Red Lentil Pumpkin Dal

Savory Indian-spiced red lentils are simmered with chunks of juicy pumpkin in this cozy pumpkin dal. CourseEntree CuisineAmerican, Indian Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 25 minutes Total Time 35 minutes Servings 4 Calories 342 kcal Author Alissa


  • 1tbsp.olive oil
  • 1medium onion,diced
  • 3garlic cloves,minced
  • 1tbsp.fresh grated ginger
  • 1serrano chili pepper,seeded and minced (optional)
  • 2tsp.ground cumin
  • 1tsp.ground coriander
  • ½tsp.turmeric
  • ½tsp.cinnamon
  • 2-3dried red chile peppers,to taste
  • 2cupsvegetable broth
  • 1-14oz.can diced tomatoes
  • 1cupsplit red lentils
  • 2cupsdiced sugar pumpkin,1 inch cubes, about ½ of an average sugar pumpkin
  • ½cupcoconut milk,from a can
  • salt and pepper to taste

For Serving:

  • fresh cilantro
  • cooked basmati rice


  1. Coat the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan with oil and place over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, serrano pepper (if using), cumin, coriander, turmeric, cinnamon and dried chili peppers. Sauté 1 minute more, until fragrant.
  2. Add broth, tomatoes, lentils and pumpkin. Stir a few times to incorporate and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer until lentils and pumpkin are tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in coconut milk and remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide among bowls and serve with rice and cilantro.

Recipe Notes

Nutrition information does not include rice.

Nutrition FactsRed Lentil Pumpkin DalAmount Per ServingCalories 342Calories from Fat 111% Daily Value*Fat 12.3g19%Saturated Fat 7.2g36%Sodium 699mg29%Potassium 734mg21%Carbohydrates 43.3g14%Fiber 18.3g73%Sugar 7.4g8%Protein 17.5g35%Calcium 70mg7%Iron 5.9mg33%* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.« Mexican Kidney Bean Fried Rice from The Easy Vegan CookbookPeanut Butter Chia Pudding with Cinnamon Simmered Apples »

Sharing is caring!

So delicious! I didn’t have any fresh garlic or dried chillies so went without and it was still so good. Thank you


  • Thanks for the recipe. Since saw, we share with our friends.

  • Perfect recipe! I made it exactly as you suggested and it is going to be my go to dahl from here on in. Thank you.

  • My husband who doesnt like sweet foods unless it’s a dessert loved this! So did my toddler to my surprise cause it is spicy. I didnt have coconut milk and it was still delish. I also used fresh tomatoes and a kuri squash and again it was so good. Thx for the recipe!


    • We have been making this a lot. We have an allergy to tomato and leave it out and add some extra stock. We also leave out the coconut milk for health reasons. It is still delicious. We usually add something green – like spinach. A favourite. Thanks for posting.


    • Just made this recipe and it’s delicious! I soaked the lentils overnight and added more chilli. Thanks for a great dish!


    • Very nice. Looking forward to eating the leftovers today 🙂


    • Fantastic recipe! We used only 1.5 cups of water and was a perfect consistency. Will definitely make again!


    • I’ll confess I did quite a bit of tweaking to this recipe but the main component ingredients were spot on! And not because it wouldn’t be yummy without. This is a perfect example of Northern style Indian Dahl. With a onion, garlic, ginger, tomato base. I have recently begun to self study ayurveda, a 5,000 year old medical system for balance and health. Ayurveda meaning life and vegan meaning science. I am trying to cure an imbalance my husband has
      For his dosha (personal constitution its not a 1 fits all type deal) he has a bit too much heat and fire. Causing him irritability, stomach issues, rashes, and a fiery temperament. So we withheld the onions, garlic, and hot spices. Sweet tastes are very grounding and calming for pitta types..This was a great recipe we could adapt for this! We also swapped the pumpkin for sweet potato as we didnt have it, added a bit more liquid and cooked it up in the instant pot! I added a bit of cardamom powder and I had no cinnamon so added garam masala at the end. It was also very family friendly we served it with brown rice. Baby and toddler loved it! Thx for the inspiration! Dahl are so versatile and red lentils cook so quick love it!


    • OMG, this is one of our house holds favourite dahls! Have made it so many times, so good! a real crowd pleaser!


    • I’m so happy I found this recipe. It really is the most loveliest Dahl. So easy and super quick to make from pantry and fridge staple items. I will make this again and again. Thank you so much!


    • Have made this so many times for friends and family. Everyone has loved it and every person has asked for the recipe. Back to make again for a friend coming for lunch today and thought it’s about time I rated and thanked you! Appreciate your awesome recipe x


    • Leave a Reply Cancel reply

      Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

      Recipe Rating

  • Primary Sidebar

    Hi, I’m Alissa! I’m a former attorney turned professional food blogger. I love creating vegan recipes with bold flavors!

    More about me →

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *