Access Allied Health

Recipes: Dahl with a Difference

Access Allied Health - Thursday, November 09, 2017

This is a great low-carb AND vegetarian AND gluten free dinner that tastes fantastic too!  The secret is there are no lentils.  Yes the word dahl does mean 'lentil' but we think this tastes so close to the real thing that we can still call it dahl....with a difference. We've used cauliflower rice which gives the dahl the same gritty texture.  The hidden pumpkin pumps in the sweetness and compliments all the spices, not to mention adding a thickness to the sauce.  We often hide pumpkin in curries as it breaks down when softened, adding thickness and no little people would even know it was there.  Surprisingly, this is quite filling.  You can serve it with a side of steamed broccoli and some pappadams make a nice touch for those at the table who are wanting a little bit of carb.


1 large brown onion, finely diced
20 gm / 1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon oil
2 tablespoons grated ginger
3 large cloves crushed garlic 
1 whole butternut pumpkin (about 1kg), peeled and diced into small cubes
4 teaspoons garam masala
2 teaspoons ground tumeric
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon chilli flakes (optional depending how much heat you like)
2 cups chicken or vegetable stock 
1 x 400ml can of coconut milk
juice of ½ lime
1/2 - 1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 small head cauliflower, broken into florets (about 600 - 700 grams)
Handful of fresh coriander to garnish
Greek yoghurt to serve


  1. Melt butter over medium heat, add oil and fry onion until softened and golden.
  2. Add the ginger, pumpkin, garlic and stir for a minute.  Add the spices and stir through.  Then add stock, coconut milk, lime juice, salt and sesame seeds and stir through.  Bring to the boil and then simmer with the lid on.  Cook for about 10 minutes when the pumpkin is starting to soften.
  3. Now process the cauliflower florets into small crumbs.  The food processor works really well for this, do in a couple of batches for a couple of seconds each.  Be careful not to overdo it, it really only takes a couple of seconds and you need it with some form to give your dahl it's texture.  You can achieve the same thing by chopping with a knife but it will take a little longer.
  4. After the pumpkin has been cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the cauliflower and cook for a further 8 - 10 minutes, covered with a lid, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once cooked, turn off the heat and use the back of a large spoon or potato masher to squash up the pumpkin so it disintegrates into the dahl forming a nice thick sauce.
  6. Serve with greek yoghurt and garnish with fresh coriander

This recipe yields about 8 cups and Serves 4 - 6
Preparation time: 30 minutes

Time Saver Tip - Although not as authentic, using minced ginger and garlic from a jar is still adding flavour and saves time....good for the quick midweek meal.

Adapted from a recipe we found online from Irena

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