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Indian Pumpkin Curry with Lentils / Chana Dal

Recipe for Indian Pumpkin Curry with Lentils / Yellow Pumpkin with Chana Dal  - Mildly spicy curry full of health-boosting nutrients and delicious too!
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings


  • 3 cups yellow pumpkin diced (max 2 cm)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup Bengal gram dal chana dal split / chana
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric

To prepare curry base

  • 2 tsps vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp panch phoron *
  • 1 pinch asafoetida
  • 2 - 3 green chillies , finely chopped
  • 1 onion medium , finely chopped
  • 2 tomatoes large , finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1.5 tbsps coriander powder
  • 1 tsp amchoor powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder


  • Coriander leaves


  • Wash the chana dal a few times and soak in enough water for 30 minutes.
  • In a pan, boil 1 cup water with 1/2 tsp salt. Add the diced pumpkin to this. Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes, until pumpkin is tender, but not mushy. Drain and keep aside. Reserve the cooking liquid.
  • Drain the soaked chana dal, pressure cook with 1 cup water+1/2 tsp turmeric for 3 whistles and on sim (low flame) for 7-8 minutes.
  • In a pan, heat the oil. Add the panch phoron spice mix. If you don't have this, then use 1/2 tsp each of cumin and mustard seeds. Stir around the spices until aromatic, for around 30 seconds on medium flame.
  • Add the asafoetida, green chillies and onions, with a pinch of salt. Saute this for 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder and allow to cook on a medium flame, until tomatoes are pulpy. If too dry, add some of the cooking liquid reserved from cooking the pumpkin.
  • Once this is ready, add the cooked pumpkin and the chana dal.
  • Add amchoor powder, garam masala powder and bring to a simmer, mashing this a little with the back of the ladle.
  • Check the seasoning, adding any salt if required.
  • Remove into a serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.


NUTRITION BYTES - Health benefits of Pumpkin and Bengal Gram Dal
Served with foxtail millet, rice crispies and cucumber
This dal is excellent for diabetics and weight watchers alike because of its low GI, which means that it causes a very slow rise in blood sugar (and that is good for our body). It is also rich in fiber, protein and antioxidants. Pumpkin by itself is a superfood, because of its beta carotene content (vitamin A) and dietary fiber. Both combined, this is highly nutritious curry, naturally vegan and gluten free.