Coconut & Pumpkin Dhal


Coconut & Pumpkin Dhal

Vegan & gluten free

Serves 4 generously


500g pumpkin (or butternut squash)

1tbsp honey or date syrup

1tbsp coconut oil

250g diced white onion

½ tbsp cumin seeds

½ tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tbsp ground turmeric

300g red lentils

400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp chopped ginger

2 cloves garlic

500ml veg stock

1tsp salt

A small bunch (30g) coriander

100g spinach or rocket


  1. Slice some wedges of pumpkin (about 150g) and leaving the skin on, drizzle with honey and cook in a hot oven. De-skin, dice and boil the remaining 350g.

  2. Then start the dhal by frying the onion gently in the coconut oil with the cumin, coriander & fennel seeds. When soft, add the lentils, cinnamon and turmeric and a touch more coconut oil if it looks dry.

  3. Start by adding a little of the stock at a time, much like a risotto.

  4. Meanwhile, blend the remaining pumpkin with the coconut milk, ginger and garlic until smooth and creamy.

  5. When all the stock is added and the lentils have absorbed it, add half the pumpkin mixture and cook gently. Don’t boil too rapidly or the coconut milk will split. Gradually add the rest of the liquid as the dal cooks, all this should take about half an hour.

  6. Chop the coriander and spinach and stir through just before serving. Serve the dal in a wide bowl with wedges of charred pumpkin on top. I also like to garnish with tamarind roasted almonds, toasted coconut flakes, toasted sesame seeds, crispy toasts or wedges of lime.

  7. I’m not a chilli fan so haven’t included any heat in this recipe – (mad I know!) So either add chopped chilli in with the onion or chilli powder in with the turmeric.

  8. Alternatively serve a spicy chutney alongside or some lime pickle. I also like it with Greek yoghurt, naan bread or crackers! 

Rose Lloyd OwenComment