Pumpkin and Lentil

I used brown lentils for this, despite the recipe calling for green puy lentils. I suspect puy is a french lentil with the french prices. Brown lentils appear to be what we call "masoor" or red lentils. This is the whole version of the red lentil. This is not in the vegetarian section, as this recipe has onions in it.

I used a tagine to cook it in part, but that was a needless affectation, a pan would have done as well.

  • 1 kg chopped and peeled butternut pumpkin
  • 2 onions, chopped fine
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups brown lentils, soaked in 4 cups of water for three hours
  • 1 inch of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder or cayenne
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/4 cup coriander
  • 1 lime cut in half


Drain the water that the lentils were soaked in, and refill with 4 cups of fresh water.  Add cinnamon and bring to the boil. Lower and simmer for 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, in another pan or tagine, heat the olive oil gently, and then add the onions. Fry over a medium heat without browning the onions too fiercely.

3. When the onions are transparent, add the powdered spices and stir over a gentle heat for a 3-4 minutes. Do not let them burn.

4. Add the tomato puree and stir. Turn up the heat and let it come to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes. Do not let the tomato-onion paste turn brown.
5. Add the pumpkin to the onion-tomato paste and mix in thoroughly. (Yes, sigh, the tagine was a bit shallow, use a deeper pan!).

6. Add the cooked lentils to the pumpkin. To check if the lentils have cooked, pick up a single lentil and squeeze it gently. It should squeeze into a mash.

7.  Allow the pumpkin and dal to simmer until the pumpkin is cooked - about 10-15 minutes depending on the pumpkin.

8. When cooked, sprinkle coriander and squeeze lime juice over the dal.
   Serve with Moroccan bread or naan, or basmati rice.