A pumpkin lentil curry recipe with warm curry spices. You will love this one pot meal. A great way to put canned pumpkin to use and this recipe freezes well so it’s great for meal prep. Serve with your favorite grain, some naan bread and top with pomegranates for a sweet crunch.
What You Need
I love making lentil curry because it’s a combination of pantry ingredients, spices and just a few fresh items. And it comes together so easily!
This pumpkin curry recipe uses lentils, Indian yellow curry powder and a little bit of red Thai curry paste as well.
Here’s your list of ingredients:
- coconut oil
- yellow onion
- garlic – fresh cloves or minced in a jar is best
- freshly grated ginger – fresh for the best flavor!
- bunch of carrots
- canned pumpkin
- tomato paste
- red Thai curry paste
- vegetable broth
- brown lentils or green lentils
- canned coconut milk
For the spices we’re using a mix of mild curry powder, ground turmeric, ground coriander, ground cumin, cayenne pepper and salt.
I love serving this pumpkin curry with some fresh pomegranates when they’re in season, and of course rice and some naan bread.
You could also serve it with freekeh, farro or quinoa if you’d like.
One Pot Wonder
Just like my other lentil curry recipe, this one comes together in just a few steps, is made in one pot and ready under one hour!
Cook Down Vegetables & Spices
In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil along with the onion, garlic, ginger and diced carrots. Cook the vegetables for about four minutes, then add in spices and salt, turning up the heat and stirring continuously for another 4-5 minutes. You may want to add a little extra oil here as well.
Add pumpkin, water and lentils
Then you’ll reduce the heat to medium and add the pumpkin, tomato paste, curry paste, water and lentils.
Simmer and stir
Give it a good stir and bring the mixture to a simmer, then cover and continue simmering for about 35-40 minutes, string every 10 minutes to make sure the lentils aren’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.
Add coconut milk
After the lentils have absorbed most of the liquid, add the canned coconut milk and continue simmering for another 10-15 minutes, until lentils are as soft as you’d like.
Note: I like to keep a little bit of a bite to the lentils but if you like them softer, you can cook them longer at this step.
Adjusting the Spices
I used Watkins brand curry powder, which is fairly mild compared to others. I also added additional turmeric, coriander, some cumin and cayenne. The coconut milk and pumpkin really take down the heat of the cayenne so adjust the spices to your level after taste testing.
Any canned pumpkin will work here. Or even fresh pumpkin purée. Other forms of squash would also be fine. Butternut squash, acorn squash, or even kabocha could all work. You just want to make sure you use about 1 and 3/4 cups.
I like using canned pumpkin if I have leftover in my pantry from all of the fall baking.
This recipe makes a decent batch of about 6-8 servings. You could double the batch for leftovers and freeze in an airtight container, up to 6 months.
Allow frozen leftovers to thaw in fridge overnight, and reheat on stovetop over medium heat, adding a little milk or water as necessary. Heat until warmed through.
More Plant Based Curry Recipes to Love
Let me know if you make this recipe by leaving a comment and rating below! It helps others learn more about the recipe too! Xx Ashley
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or butter, or ghee)
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 5 medium cloves garlic
- 1.5 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
- 1 small bunch of carrots, diced (about 1 cup – see notes)
- 2 tablespoons curry powder (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ¾ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon coriander powder
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)
- 1 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 1 tablespoon red Thai curry paste
- 3 ounces tomato paste
- 1 (14 ounce) can pumpkin
- 3 cups low sodium vegetable broth (or water – see notes)
- 1 cup dried brown lentils, or green lentils
- 1 (14 ounce) can full-fat coconut milk
- rice (or another grain)
- naan bread
- In a large pot over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon coconut oil, onion, garlic, ginger and diced carrots. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in curry powder, turmeric, cumin, coriander and salt. Turn heat up to medium-high, stirring continuously for another 4-5 minutes – add extra oil here as needed.
- Reduce heat to medium; add pumpkin, curry paste, water and lentils. Stir to combine then bring mixture to a simmer, then cover and continue simmering for about 45 minutes, string every 10 minutes. After about 45 minutes, lentils should absorb most of the liquid.
- Stir in coconut milk, continue simmering uncovered for another 15-20 minutes on low-medium heat, until curry has thickened more.
- Serve with rice, naan bread, top with pomegranates if you’d like.
If using water you’ll likely want another 1/2 teaspoon or so of salt.