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.

By Darshana Thacker Wendel, Dec 18, 2019


  • 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


  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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