Creamy Curried Pumpkin & Split Pea Dal

Creamy Curried Pumpkin & Split Pea Dal

A quick and healthy mid-week meal, this dal is particularly tasty, as half of the pumpkin is blended to make it even creamier. Yellow split peas add texture and really enhance the dish, adding a bit more bite and an almost nutty taste.
Photography: ISSY CROKER
Total Time
1 Hour
2 tbsp of coconut oil
1 tbsp of black or yellow mustard seeds
1 white or brown onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
2 tbsp of freshly grated ginger
1 tbsp of freshly grated turmeric
A large handful of fresh coriander, stems finely chopped, leaves roughly chopped
A pinch of dried chilli flakes
4 tsp of ground cumin
2–3 tsp of curry powder (without salt preferred)
A small handful of curry leaves, fresh or dried
1.5–2 litres of vegetable stock
1 small pumpkin or squash, raw, any variety, skin on or off
550g of dried yellow split peas, soaked for at least 4 hours
Salt and pepper
1 cinnamon stick
250ml of coconut milk
1 lime, juice and zest
Step 1

Put about 1–2 teaspoons of your coconut oil into a large pot over a medium heat.

Step 2

Add the mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop – lower the heat when they do so and transfer them to a small bowl.

Step 3

Heat the rest of the coconut oil in the same pan, then add your onions.

Step 4

Sauté until they start to go translucent and fragrant, about 5–6 minutes on a low heat.

Step 5

Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, coriander stalks, dried chilli flakes, ground cumin, curry powder and half your curry leaves. Stir continuously and keep frying until everything becomes nice and fragrant.

Step 6

Put your mustard seeds back into the pan. If it starts to dry up, you can add a dash of your stock to help continue the frying process.

Step 7

Add the pumpkin, split peas, about half the fresh coriander and the rest of the stock to the pot. Stir and bring the mixture up to the boil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Once it reaches the boil, lower the heat to a simmer.

Step 8

Add the cinnamon stick and stir again. Cover and cook for about 45–55 minutes, until the split peas are cooked and the pumpkin is tender.

Step 9

Season again to taste.

Step 10

Once cooked, transfer about a quarter of the mix to a blender.

Step 11

You may need it to cool slightly first, depending on your blender type.

Step 12

Add the coconut milk and blend until smooth and creamy. Pour back into the pot and stir, adding the lime juice and zest and seasoning again to taste.


The Whole Vegetable by Sophie Gordon, published by Penguin; Michael Joseph, £22.99 (was £25.00). Available here.

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