pumpkin cauliflower dal

DfDairy free
EfEgg free
GfGluten free
NfNut free
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pumpkin cauliflower dal
Serves 4

Most of us could probably do with eating a little less meat and this dal feels like a more-than-satisfactory replacement. The spices are really mild, so don’t worry if your child isn’t accustomed to eating them.


  • 1 tablespoon light olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 200g (1 cup) split red lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 270ml tin light coconut milk
  • 300g (2 cups) diced pumpkin (winter squash)
  • 150g (1 1/2 cups) diced cauliflower
  • 155g (1 cup) fresh or frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh coriander leaves
  • Cooked steamed basmati rice, to serve
  • Plain yoghurt, to serve (optional – omit for dairy-free and vegan)


  1. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over low heat. Add the onion, ginger and carrot and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the onion has softened. Stir in the spices and lentils and cook for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Add the coconut milk and 435 ml (1 3/4 cups) water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir through the pumpkin and cauliflower, cover, and simmer for a further 20 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender, adding the peas during the final 5 minutes of cooking.
  3. Remove the pan from the heat and stir through the lemon juice and coriander. Serve with basmati rice, yoghurt and pappadums (if using), on the side.
  4. Baby’s serve: For a younger baby, blend together some dahl and rice until smooth, or blend the dahl and then stir through the rice for a more textured consistency. For an older baby, chop up the dahl to a consistency that can easily be eaten with a spoon and stir through some of the rice.
  5. Toddler’s serve: serve as for an older baby or as is.


The pappadums can have sharp points when broken so just watch your child with them. You might like to wait until he’s two years or older before offering them to him.