Pumpkin dal

I have always been the one (shamelessly so you might add!) who sneaks in a new untested recipe on unsuspecting guests. It always scares my Mom whenever I tell her I am 'experimenting' on a new recipe when there are guests in-house. But really, for me, trying out a new recipe is like a cook's reward, something that keeps me going. Sure, there have been a few mishaps and last minute runs to Safeway to activate backups, but more than often the new dish has been a great hit and has kept the fun going for me in entertaining!

So we had an unplanned visit from a few close friends last night. As luck would have it all I had on hand was pumpkins - two small sugar pie pumpkins which I had picked up on my morning TJ's visit. Together we brain-stormed a lot about what to cook and finally decided to be brave enough to make it a pumpkin night.. afterall isn't Halloween just around the corner! I made the traditional Marathi lal-bhoplyachi bhaji (red pumpkin sabji) with some left-over butternut squash soup from a day before. Our sweet ending was the pumpkin kheer which I was fairly confident would turn out well considering I had just made it the week before... and now my experimentation began! I have been itching to try my hands on this pumpkin dal recipe for quite some time now and what better company to try this on than a few unsuspecting close friends who are always game to be the perfect guinea-pigs :)

On a stormy cold evening we gathered together in the dining room overlooking the pouring rain with a scrumptious meal of rice, pumpkin dal and lemon pickle with a side of a bold merlot and needless to say the freshest batch of gossip and a whole lot of giggling over nothing!

Recipe: pumpkin dal
Serves 4
1/2 sugar pie pumpkin (roasted and mashed) OR 1C canned pumpkin puree
1C red masoor daal
4C water (more or less per the desired soupy consistency of the dal)
2 small red thai bird chilis
1 medium onion - finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic - smashed
1/2tsp mustard seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds
3Tbsp vegetable oil
1tsp coriander powder
1/8tsp turmeric powder

  1. If using whole pumpkin, cut the pumpkin in half. Remove inner strings and seeds. Place the pumpkin halves on an aluminium foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil. Cover with another aluminium foil and roast for an hour and half in a pre-heated 375F oven. Remove from oven, let cool and using a fork take out the roasted pumpkin mass and smash using a potato masher to a thick consistency. 1 whole small sugar pie pumpkin will give you about 2C roasted pumpkin puree. This recipe uses half of that.
  2. Heat 1/2Tbsp oil in a large pot. 
  3. Temper with 1/2tsp cumin seeds.
  4. When cumin seeds start to sizzle, add chopped chilis and onion and saute until the onions start to brown.
  5. Then add mashed pumpkin puree and saute for a minute or two.
  6. Add cleaned and rinsed masoor dal, turmeric powder and water.
  7. Bring to a boil. When dal starts to boil, reduce heat to simmer and simmer covered for 20-25 mins or until the lentils are well-cooked.
  8. Remove from heat. Add coriander powder and salt to taste and set aside.
  9. Heat a small tarka pan with 2.5Tbsp oil. When hot, add mustard seeds.
  10. When the seeds start to pop add smashed garlic and cook on high heat for a minute or so taking care not to burn the garlic.
  11. Remove from heat. Add the tarka to the daal just before serving.
  12. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro and green onions. Serve with rice or chapatis.


Sonia{7spice} said…
PJ, I'm one of them too who shamelessly try new and risky recipe when I have guests. :)
Oh my, this dal looks so delicious and healthy. Nice write-up. I'm eyeing over your beautiful red serving bowl. May I send my shipping address so you can send me straightforward. :P :D Know that I'm shameless. ;)

I just loved your recipe and bowl. Superb!
tinyskillet said…
You crack me up! You sound a lot like me. I don't know why it wouldn't work...the ingredients all sound wonderful in there! I want to try it, and join in the giggling and wine!
indosungod said…
Sure looks awesome PJ. Could'nt possibly have gone I second Sonia, love your bowl. It looks beautiful.
Satya said…
hi PJ
This pumpkin dal looks very delicious ...i wish to have this on dinner with hot rotis ..yummy

Treat and Trick said…
I too have the same feeling when guest are around nevertheless yours turns our perfect and yummy served in that fiery red bowl....
Suji said…
Me too PJ, I have to cook something new when I have guests. :)

Pumpkin dal looks delectable and i so love u r bowl....
Sushma Mallya said…
Thats something new and different...dal looks yum and very nicely presented...
deepti said…
First time here...Loved ur space n recipes...Dal looks perfect
PJ said…
Sonia, cool, now i know i am not the only _shamelss_ one ;) no but seriously, send you address, if I find a second of this kind of bowl, I'll send over.. it was only $2.99 when I bought!

Lyndsey, exactly! not a completely foreign recipe so more than likely should work.. if goes all hayward though then need guests who are good sports :)

Fuat Gencal, thanks! Google translator helped.

Indo, thanks! it was a thrifty find!

Satya, thanks, I am so glad you liked it.

Treat and trick, its a cook's reward.. something that keep your interest going, isn't it?!

Kairali sisters, thanks!

Sushma, thanks, I am so glad you liked it.

Deepti, thanks and welcome to my blog! I hope you enjoyed your visit and see you soon again :)
sangeeta said…
I know it's so much fun to try and make new recipes . I have tried pumpkin sambar but never a daal , i would love this one as a soup i guess . I am experimenting a lot with pumpkins too.
Rachana said…
PJ, count me in too in that list of shameless people who love trying new recipes on guests :-)

This dal looks awesome and so is that lovely red serving bowl :-)

Have a lovely week ahead.
Priya Suresh said…
Dal looks absolutely awesome and comforting..
Kanchan said…
I love the pumpkin pieces in sambhar ... but made dal this way.
Awesome snaps, loved the bowl :)
PJ i was thinking of doing the same..i mean ive been looking for a pumpkin dal recipe and u jus made me a happy gal.. :)
PJ i was thinking of doing the same..i mean ive been looking for a pumpkin dal recipe and u jus made me a happy gal.. :)
Jhonny walker said…
PJ ..you are a life saver! I have half a can pg pumpkin puree left over from a pumpkin spice cake I made. This daal looks and sounds phenomenal!! And you are right. What fun is it if you can't experiment with food :) this experiment was sure successful. I bet :)
Cham said…
I never take any risk when i do have guest! Gal u have guts :)
But we make sambar with sambar, sounds good the dhal too!
Sanjeeta kk said…
Would love to add pumpkin the next time I make dal.
Oh PJ, i love all the pumkin happening around here!!
Everything is so deliciously delightful!!
Hoping to see ur pumpkin muffins, they will rock!
Oh PJ, i love all the pumkin happening around here!!
Everything is so deliciously delightful!!
Hoping to see ur pumpkin muffins, they will rock!
There is Pumpkin being added around to everything around here too!!
Right from veggies with greens to soup to pulao's!!
San said…
Pumpkin dal never heard of it PJ. New to me n i got to try it sometime ,like all your presentationS n the bowls ,seems u have more than a dozen :D Thanks for the recipe dear.
Unknown said…
Friends guinea-pigs, cracked me oh my friends have been the same for years now regarding shocking mum with untasted recipe, though my mum gets shocked too but at the same time she starts to wonder if am alright lol anyways wonderful recipe loving ur serving bowl PJ
Hayley said…
I like to experimenting new food..but not when guests are there..lovely presentation..!
panchpakwan said…
Pumpkin dal looks colorful and delicious..
Jhonny walker said…
This was incredible! I made it yesterday :)
Lena Jayadev said…
hai PJ.. i was going through some blogs and came to your space accidently... your food photography is incredible.. your picture speaks.. :) this one looks awesome.. :)
tasteofbeirut said…
i can relate! I like to experiment but usually it is my kids who end up being the guinea pigs! this is a wonderful dish though and I am sure your guests were ecstatic!
s said…
gosh, i never experiment on guests!!!! admire ur courage. But i loveeeeee the bowl and the dish sounds great...
Wow pumkin dhal looks so yummilicious and works with roti and rice right . Heaven.