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 😊
A 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:
1.5 cups dry lentils**
3 cups dry rice of choice**
Glug of olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
½-inch piece ginger root, grated
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
Coriander seeds, crushed
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.
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.
1/Pour curry sauce over plated rice. Garnish with fresh chives, cilantro and coriander seeds (optional).
*I highly recommend sourcing quality herbs, spices and spice blends from The Silk Road Spice Merchant:
**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.