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Serve this colorful, perfectly spiced stew with your favorite steamed grains, such as rice or quinoa, or whole grain bread. Not a fan of pumpkin? An equal amount of butternut, acorn, or delicata squash will also work in this red lentil dal.

Ingredients

  • ½ teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeño chile, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small pumpkin (2 lb.), peeled, seeded, and cut into ¾-inch pieces (5 cups)
  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped tomato
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach

Instructions

  1. In a large skillet cook mustard and cumin seeds over medium 2 to 3 minutes or until toasted and starting to pop. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion, jalapeño, ginger, and garlic; cook and stir about 10 minutes or until onion is tender, adding water, 1 to 2 tablespoons at a time, as needed to prevent sticking.
  2. Add the next seven ingredients (through paprika) and 5 cups water; stir well. Cover and cook about 20 minutes or until lentils are just tender. Stir in lime juice, salt, and black pepper. Sprinkle with spinach just before serving.
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Comments (11)

(4.25 from 8 votes)
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Kate4 days ago
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I found this too dry and almost burned it so added a cup of veggies broth to help steam/ cook the lentils and pumpkin.

Kate4 days ago
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Oops – l missed the 5 cups of water;-(

Bodhitara8 months ago
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Great outcome, happy bellies, thank you Darshana!

Miryam10 months ago
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OMG!! I just made this and it is absolutely delicious!! I have never made a dal before and I needed to swap some ingredients (mustard seeds to prepared; ground cumin). Nothing major. The flavors are perfect together. This is a winner as far as I’m concerned. Thank you Chef!

Jennifer12 months ago
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Excellent. I know a couple from Sri Lanka and it passed their taste test! Very easy to make.

Marlene12 months ago
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Excellent!

Ih1 year ago
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I did not use 5 cups of water; more like 3 cups for a thicker dal, and the seasoning was perfect.

Ren1 year ago
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I used a Butterkin squash and it was a cup more than the recipe called for but I just adjusted the spices and it worked out ok. Even then it did seem like it wasn’t as flavorful as other dal I’ve had. Oh, I did completely forget the spinach.

Amy1 year ago
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Drinking broth straight from the carton is more exciting than this soup.

Heather3 months ago
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If you can’t take a recipe and tweak it to taste good, then the failure is with the cook.

Carole1 year ago
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Amy, try a little kindness with your broth or comments.

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about the author

Darshana Thacker Wendel

Darshana Thacker Wendel is a whole-food, plant-based chef and former culinary projects manager for Forks Over Knives. A graduate of the Natural Gourmet Institute, she is the author of Forks Over Knives: Flavor! She created the recipes for Forks Over Knives Family and was a lead recipe contributor to the New York Times bestseller The Forks Over Knives Plan. Her recipes have been published in The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook, Forks Over Knives—The Cookbook, Forks Over Knives: The Plant-Based Way to Health, and LA Yoga magazine online. Visit DarshanasKitchen.com and follow her on Instagram for more.

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