Lentils with squash are a perfect meal. So easy to make and so easy to enjoy on any given day. We try and eat lentil curry at least once a week and these are one type that I make from time to time. They can be whipped up in no time and can be made well in advance and saved in the fridge for when you are ready to enjoy them too. The thing with Indian food is, that the longer it sits, the better the flavours get. So, making this one day in advance will ensure it tastes even better.
The Ingredients for Indian Curry
The usual onions, garlic, ginger, green chili, and some curry powder, along with some tomato puree is all that’s needed to make this amazing recipe.
The Ingredients List for Lentils with Squash:
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 red onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1-inch fresh ginger
- 1 green chili (or chili of choice)
- 1/2 cup tomato puree
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1 cup bottle gourd
- 1 cup split chickpeas
- 3 cups water
- salt and pepper to taste
Soaking and Boiling Process
I start by soaking my lentils for about half an hour to an hour. I find that helps them cook faster. This is not a necessary step, but it does help. Since they are dehydrated, soaking them before cooking allows them to soak up some of the liquid and get rehydrated. I also like to use a pressure cooker because that too helps to soften them quickly, but if you don’t have one, a pot works. The cooking process only takes slightly longer.
The Masala for this Vegan and Vegetarian Recipe
Finely chop the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili. In a pressure cooker or a large pot add the oil and place it on the stove. Turn it to medium heat. Once the oil has heated, add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and chili. Allow them to cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are softened and start to brown a slight bit.
Add the tomato puree and the curry powder to the pressure cooker or pot and mix everything together and allow it to cook for about 2-3 minutes. You will see the oil start to separate as the puree start to cook. Now we are ready to make our dish.
The Cooking Process for Lentil Curry
I add the lentils to the pressure cooker at this point. Stir them well and add 1/2 cup of water and allow them to cook for about 5 or so minutes covered. Do not close the pressure cooker just yet.
I like to use a bottle gourd for this. That’s the traditional way of making this recipe. However, you can use pumpkin or butternut squash and that works just as well. The bottle gourd takes a slightly longer time to cook, so if you are using pumpkin, do not use the pressure cooker. Peel and chop the bottle gourd into bite size pieces. The skin of the gourd is tough, so must be peeled off and discarded.
Add the cut cubes to the pressure cooker and add another 1 and a half cups of water. Close the pressure cooker and turn the heat down to medium low. Allow to cook for about 10 minutes. Turn the heat off and remove the pressure cooker from the heat. Allow it to cool down completely and for the steam to leak out on its own.
Once all the pressure has leaked out, carefully open the pressure cooker and mix everything together. It should be ready to enjoy. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you will need to cover the pot and allow it to cook for about 1/2 an hour. Remember to stir the pot every 5 or so minutes. Add water as needed so that everything cooks evenly.
Sprinkle some fresh coriander – either whole leaves if you like them that way, or finely chopped if you prefer smaller chunks of it.
Serving suggestions for Lentil Curry:
Lentils with squash can be served with a variety of things:
- Rice – basmati long grain rice – plain or cumin rice.
- Roti (Indian flatbread) – made with a blend of whole wheat and white flour.
- Naan – garlic or plain naan.
- Paratha – pan fried flatbread. Plain or stuffed.
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Lentils with Squash CurryCourse: EntreeCuisine: IndianDifficulty: Easy
Lentils with squash curry is the perfect comfort food. It is chock full of fiber and protein and can be enjoyed with rice or flatbread.
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 red onion
3 garlic cloves
1 green chili (or chili of choice)
1/2 cup tomato puree
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 cup chopped bottle gourd
1 cup split chickpeas
3 cups water
salt and pepper to taste
- Soak the lentils for about half an hour to an hour in 1 and a half cups of water – or more if needed to soak them properly.
- Finely chop the onion, garlic, ginger, and chili.
- Add the oil to a pressure cooker or large pot.
- Once the oil has heated, add the chopped onion, garlic, ginger, and chili. Allow them to cook for about 5-7 minutes, or until they are softened and start to brown a slight bit.
- Add the tomato puree and the curry powder and allow it to cook for about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the lentils to the pressure cooker at this point. Stir them well and add 1/2 cup of water and allow them to cook for about 5 or so minutes covered. Do not close the pressure cooker just yet.
- Peel and chop the bottle gourd into bite size pieces.
- Add the cut cubes to the pressure cooker and add 1 and a half cups of water.
- Close the pressure cooker and turn the heat down to medium low. Allow cooking for about 10 minutes.
- Once cooked, sprinkle some fresh coriander on top before serving.