Vegetable Split Pea Dal, Spiced Cauliflower Pumpkin and a Kumquat Chutney

Vegetable Dal with Cauliflower Pumpkin Curry-0048

For the Dal

Prep Time: 45 min

Total Time: 60 minutes + 1 hour soaking time

Serves: 4


  • 300g yellow split pea lentils (soaked for 1 hour)
  • 4 small dried chilies
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 2 thumb-sized ginger, 1 left whole and 1 very finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 3 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large carrots, cut into batons
  • 150g French green beans
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 15 curry leaves
  • 2-3 tablespoons Ghee
  • 2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 100g cashew nuts, chopped


  1. To make the dal cook lentils in plenty of water approx.. 3-4 cups with the turmeric powder, quartered onion, the whole piece of ginger, 2 garlic cloves. Simmer until the lentils are really tender.
  2. In a wok or pot, heat 1 tablespoon ghee and slow roast coriander, cumin, fenugreek seeds and chilies until the spices begin to sizzle and become fragrant - this will take about 30 to 35 seconds. Then finely grind and set aside.
  3. Heat another tablespoon of ghee in the wok, add the finely chopped ginger, 2 finely chopped garlic cloves and sauté. Add 10 curry leaves and the roasted masala mix and continue to sauté until the mixture comes together and is fragrant. Add the vegetables: carrots, beans and sliced onion and cook for 5 to 8 minutes. Add about half a cup and up to one cup of water, cover and allow to simmer till vegetables are almost tender.
  4. Add the cooked dal to the vegetable mixture and stir well. Season to taste.
  5. To temper the dal: just before serving heat the remaining ghee, add the mustard seeds, remaining curry leaves and cashews and stir until everything turns brown and the seed start to pop. Pour this to the hot dal. Serve with steaming rice

For the spiced cauliflower pumpkin

Prep Time: 30 min

Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 6


  • 600g cauliflower florets
  • 400g pumpkin, cut into cubes
  • 2 small green chilies, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1-2 medium sized tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 thumb-sized ginger, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • small bunch coriander leaves, chopped


  1. To make the spiced cauliflower and pumpkin place a clean karhai, wok or heavy-based pan over a medium heat. Melt the ghee and as it heats, add the onion.
  2. Sauté for 2 minutes, then add the cumin seeds. Stir for 3 minutes, or until the onion has colored light brown. Stir for 2 minutes, adding a splash of hot water if the mixture starts to stick. Add the tomato and cook for 5 minutes until completely melted and integrated.
  3. Sprinkle in the chilies and season with salt. Stir for approx. 1 minute then add the fenugreek and turmeric and mix well.
  4. Finally transfer the cauliflower florets and pumpkin into the pan, add a few splashes of water. Cover and cook for about 15-20 minutes until the vegetables and tender but still hold their shape. Make sure you check in between if the mixture needs come more moisture, if it does add some more water - a splash at a time.
  5. Serve sprinkled with the coriander leaves.

For the Kumquat, Ginger & Chili Chutney

Prep Time: 15 min

Total Time: 45 minutes

Yields: about two average sized jars


  • 700g kumquats
  • 375ml water
  • 105ml white wine vinegar
  • 375ml light brown sugar
  • 3 dried red chilies, de-seeded and finely shredded
  • a thumb-size piece of fresh ginger, sliced in three pieces
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) whole black peppercorns


  1. Rinse the kumquats but don't cut them up. Put the water, vinegar, sugar, chilies, ginger, peppercorns and salt into a heavy-based pan and bring gently up to the boil, stirring now and then to dissolve the sugar.
  2. Cook at a brisk bubble for 5 minutes. Now tip in the kumquats, turn down the heat, and simmer gently for 30 minutes or so, or until the fruit is very soft and glassy, and the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup. Watch the pan carefully, as there isn't much liquid, and it can turn to caramel in an instant.
  3. If you're going to keep this in the fridge for immediate use, let the chutney cool for a few minutes, then ladle it into clean jars. If you want to keep this in the cupboard for future use, sterilize your jars and plastic-lined lids (here's how) and fill them to the brim with piping-hot chutney. Press down gently with the back of a spoon to eliminate any air bubbles, screw on the lids and tighten. Let the jars cool for 30 minutes, and then tighten the lids again.

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