Pumpkin Lentil Curry

Feature Recipe | Pumpkin Lentil Curry  

Take my word for it….a quick description to tease your palette:  
Pure pumpkin delight. This Indian-inspired curry sauce – boasting a radiant orange hue – marries sweet pumpkin flesh and red lentils with creamy coconut milk and warm, aromatic spices.

Why this recipe: 

There was a time where I couldn’t even bribe the kids to try a bite out of a samosa…fast forward five years and the kids are excited by the prospect of ordering Indian take-out. Samosas, vegetable biryani, chana masala and aloo gobi are now met with a thumbs up. The kids (surprising but welcomed) affinity for Indian food has heightened my aspiration to explore curry varieties. Combine this with having a pantry stocked with canned pumpkin purée from Halloween baking adventures that went sideways and you have the impetus for developing this recipe 😊

helping hand: 

*I’ve been making curry dishes since as long as I can remember. Here is a trick I’ve learned along the way – it’s made a world of difference for me and I hope sharing this can help you too: 
Add garam masala in the final stages of preparing your curry to preserve the aroma and taste of the warm spices used in your dish.  In a way, garam masala can be thought of as a finishing spice in traditional Indian cooking!

*I recently discovered an incredible website to source quality herbs, spices and spice blends*. I recently purchased a blend called Vadouvan – an Indian curry blend with added aromatics such as shallots and garlic. The blend I sourced contains shallots, onion, garlic, mustard seeds, sea salt, coriander, fenugreek, ginger, cumin, turmeric, chilies, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves, curry leaves & fenugreek leaves. This blend is nothing short of amazing. I now use it as an all-purpose curry seasoning – it’s perfect to sub in for curry powder (which I did while testing this Pumpkin Lentil Curry recipe) or for adding to a simmering pot of rice, quinoa or other grain for subtle notes of Indian-inspired cuisine.  I encourage you to give it a try!

Get inspired with these Vegan Rhapsody favourites:  

Looking for all the flavour of classic Indian cuisine without compromising on flavour? No need for ghee, yogurt or cream in these dishes – but don’t expect any less than incredible flavour! Check out these popular Indian-inspired Vegan Rhapsody recipes: 

Curried Dahl with Golden Chapitas
Simply Delicious Chana Masala
Curried Chickpea, Potato & Rice Burrito
Vegan Butter Chicken 

Enjoy~

Ingredients

Dry Stuff: 
1.5 cups dry lentils**
3 cups dry rice of choice**

Base:
Glug of olive oil 
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
½-inch piece ginger root, grated 

Dry Spices: 

3 Tbsp curry powder
2 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder or crushed seeds 
1 tsp paprika  
1 tsp turmeric powder

This & That: 
1 can coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
2 cups pumpkin purée
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp garam masala 

Garnish:
Fresh chives
Fresh cilantro 
Coriander seeds, crushed 

Method

Prep It 

1/Cook lentils as directed**
2/Cook rice as directed***
3/IF REQUIRED: Prepare pumpkin purée: Steam peeled pumpkin, coarsely chopped (2 cups). Using an immersion blender, pulse the steamed pumpkin until it reaches a puréed consistency.  

Cook It

1/Add glug of olive oil to a skillet on medium-low heat. Toss onion, minced garlic and grated ginger in the skillet. Sauté until fragrant and onions start to turn golden.
2/Add 2 Tbsp curry powder, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp coriander,. 1 tsp paprika and 1 tsp turmeric powder to the skillet. Give it a quick stir to combine. 
3/Add coconut milk, vegetable broth, pumpkin purée, tomato paste and 1 Tbsp brown sugar. Stir until well combined. 
4/Increase the temperature to medium-high heat. Add cooked lentils to the skillet. Bring mixture to a simmer/gentle boil.
5/Turn heat down to low. Add 1 Tbsp brown sugar, 1 Tbsp garam masala and 1 Tbsp curry powder to the skillet. Simmer (with lid) mixture for 10 minutes to allow lentils to soap up the flavour. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve It 

1/Pour curry sauce over plated rice. Garnish with fresh chives, cilantro and coriander seeds (optional).

Recipe Notes

*I highly recommend sourcing quality herbs, spices and spice blends from The Silk Road Spice Merchant: 
https://silkroadspices.ca/

**This will yield approx. 3.5 -4 cups cooked lentils. As a general guideline: 
1 cup dry lentils = 2.5 cups cooked lentils
1 pound (450g) dry lentils = 7 cups cooked lentils 
This handy link gives an overview of lentil conversions.

***I recommend basmati or jasmine rice.

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About Meagan Lamontagne