This roasted pumpkin dhal is comfort food at its best. Red lentils cooked in coconut milk and warming spices, combined with sweet roasted pumpkin and baby spinach, this is one meal I am especially enjoying eating at the moment.

You could also make it with butternut squash, in place of pumpkin. Both are equally delicious. I often use butternut squash as it’s more widely available here in the UK.

Roasting pumpkin or squash in the oven brings out the slightly sweet flavours and will add so much more depth to the dish.

This dish is gluten free, dairy free and vegan, so it’s a great one to add to your curry night menu if you are catering for different dietrary requirements. Most curries are naturally gluten free, but many contain yoghurt so aren’t ideal for our dairy intolerant or vegan friends.

pumpkin dhal recipe

Is this Dhal Spicy?

No not at all, mainly flavoursome and my 3 year old recently declared this to be her favourite dinner, so it’s perfect for mini palettes.

For adults that prefer some extra spice, add a generous sprinkling of chilli flakes on top or serve with some spicy chutnies.

Which Red Lentil Brand Do You Use?

I get asked this question frequently, as so many lentils have a may contain warning. At the time of writing, the Natco Red Lentils are my go to.

You can pick them up in the world foods section of most big supermarkets (Tesco and Waitrose for sure) and they are great value, as well as not having a may contain warning.

butternut squash dhal recipe

Roasted Pumpkin Dhal Recipe

Now let’s get to the recipe! You’ll find the method below, along with some pics to help guide you. However, if you have any other questions feel free to message me on social media (@myglutenfreeguide) or email me at

Also, if you do enjoy this recipe please leave a review on the recipe card below – it makes a world of difference to me :).

Laura xxx

Pumpkin Dhal (GF, DF)
Yield: Serves 4

Pumpkin Dhal (GF, DF)

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes


  • 2 white onions
  • 2cm cube ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp tumeric
  • 600g pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 200g passata
  • 300g red lentils
  • 400ml coconut milk
  • 600ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tsp mango chutney
  • 2 large handfuls baby spinach or kale
  • 100ml water (may not be needed)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (fan) and line a large baking tray with greaseproof paper. Cut the pumpkin/squash in half and scoop out any seeds. Leave the skin on, cut into slices and place on the tray. Drizzle with olive oil and roast for 40 minutes, turning halfway through.
  2. Finely dice the onion and add to a large high-sided frying pan or saucepan onions with a glug of oil (olive/sunflower/vegetable oil all fine). Cook over a low heat for 10 minutes until the onions are soft and translucent.
  3. Grate the ginger and garlic into the pan and cook for two minutes until fragrant.
  4. Add the cumin, garam masala and tumeric to the pan and warm for a minute or so, before adding the passata and stirring well.
  5. Next the lentils are added to the pan, stir to combine, then follow with the coconut milk and stock. Simmer for approx 20 minutes over a low heat, until the lentils are soft and cooked through. If the liquid dries up before the lentils have cooked, add a little water (100ml) and continue cooking.
  6. Time to add the pumpkin/squash. Use a teaspoon or knife to gently peel the skin off the roasted squash. Break the flesh into pieces and add to the dhal.
  7. Stir the mango chutney through the dhal to add a hint of sweetness, then finally add the spinach or kale to the dish and cook for a few minutes until wilted. Serve with rice and poppadoms for a delicious, warming dinner!

easy dhal recipe

For more gluten free vegetarian meal ideas, why not give some of these other recipes a try:

Enjoy! Laura xxx