Pumpkin and Chana Dal Curry

If I have not already mentioned it, let me do so now. Pumpkin is my favorite vegetable and my husband’s not so favorite. So I don’t cook a lot of Pumpkin, but this curry hit it out of the park with the husband. So that’s a win for me.

Given its sweetness, Pumpkin lends itself not only to desserts but it can add that a nice sweet flavor to an otherwise spicy or tangy recipe. The only thing to be careful about it which type of Pumpkin you pick and how much cooking it requires. I am not Pumpkin expert but I know there are several different varieties available on the market. The one used in this recipe is the typical orange Pumpkin that is found at Indian grocery stores in the US. But an acorn squash or even a Butternut Squash works. Just be sure not to pick out a carving Pumpkin (if you are making this recipe during the Halloween season). Grocery stores usually have descriptions listed for carving Pumpkins versus eating Pumpkins. So it should be relatively straightforward to pick one. The nice thing about these is that they are sold in already cut pieces. They do cook quickly and become a mush, so keeping a careful eye out for it will result in the right texture. Although Pumpkins are in abundance during the fall or autumn seasons, they are usually available at Indian grocery stores year around.

I never gave it much thought but Pumpkins are actually quite nutritious. Their bright orange color comes from the Beta Carotene in them, which is a beneficial anti-oxidant. Pumpkins are also packed with vitamins that boost immunity. So all in all, it is an unassuming vegetable with some decent health benefits.

This recipe is another one pot curry that is simple and flavorful. It is an under 30 minute curry that be served with rice or roti. So it is perfect for anyone looking for easy, no-brainer type, nutritious recipes.

Video Recipe

Prep time10 minutes
Cook time20 minutes
Serves4 (2 meals for 2)



  • Pumpkin – 3 cups of cubed pieces
  • Potato – 1 medium, cubed
  • Yellow Onion – 1 medium, diced
  • Tomato – 1 large, diced


  • Chana Dal (Split Chickpeas) – 3/4 cup, washed and soaked

Spices & Herbs

  • Jeera (Cumin Seeds) – 1 tsp
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Cloves – 2
  • Green Chilies – 2, slit
  • Haldi (Ground Turmeric) – 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt as per taste
  • Ginger – 1 tbsp chopped
  • Cilantro – A handful (for garnish)


  • Cooking Oil – 2 tbsp


  1. Set Instant Pot to saute mode
  2. Add oil to the pot. Once the display shows hot, add the jeera, bay leaves and clove
  3. Once the 3 spices have cooked and become aromatic, add the onions and cook them for 2-3 minutes until they are translucent
  4. Add the ginger, green chilies and cook for 1 minute
  5. Add all the spices and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add a splash of water to de-glaze the pot. Add salt and continue cook
  6. Add the tomatoes. Cook the mixture for 1-2 minutes until all the spices, onions and tomatoes are cooked well and oil begins to release on the sides of the mixture
  7. Add the potatoes, pumpkin and chana dal
  8. Add 2-3 cups of water (depending on the desired consistency of the curry)
  9. Close the lid and move the pressure valve to sealed position
  10. Cancel the saute mode. Select the pressure cook mode and set the time to 15 minutes
  11. After the cooking time is complete, allow for manual pressure release for about 5 minutes before opening the pressure valve
  12. Open the lid, add cilantro and mix
  13. Transfer the curry to a serving bowl. enjoy the nutritious curry with rice or rotis

You can also follow me on Instagram to be up-to-date with what is cooking my kitchen. If you like this recipe, do share your comments below. Don’t forget to post your version on Instagram using #foodformyloveblog.

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