Canned lentils are a great, mid-week time saver and this quick cook dhal can be pulled together from mostly pantry staples in less time than it takes for delivery to arrive.






Skill level

Average: 3.4 (72 votes)


  • 500 g pumpkin, unpeeled, cut into 3 cm-thick slices
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1½ tsp garam masala (see Note)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1½ tbsp finely chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp hot or medium curry powder
  • 1 x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400 g tins brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander leaves, plus extra to serve
  • ¼ cup natural yoghurt, plus extra to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Arrange the pumpkin slices on an oven tray lined with baking paper. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons of oil, sprinkle over ½ a teaspoon garam masala and season to taste. Transfer to the oven and roast for 25 minutes until tender and golden. 

Heat 1½ tablespoons of oil a medium-sized saucepan over high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, for 7–8 minutes until golden. Reduce the heat to medium, add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook for 1 minute until aromatic. Add the tomatoes, stir to combine and simmer for 3 minutes. Add the lentils, 1 teaspoon of garam masala and season to taste. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes until the lentils are heated through. Remove from the heat and stir through the yoghurt and coriander. If you prefer a wetter dhal just add a couple of tablespoons of water. 

Spoon the lentils into wide bowls and place the pumpkin on top. Top with extra coriander leaves and drizzle with extra yoghurt.



• Garam masala is an Indian spice blend available in most supermarkets and from Indian food stores.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Lou Fay.