Pumpkin and lentil in tomato sauce

Fall is officially here with its cloudy mornings and cool breeze. Leaves are beginning to change color and take flight. Apples of every color and size are everywhere you look and beautiful pumpkins and pomegranates are spreading the fall hues in markets and displays.

I love fall, the colors, apples and clouds. The gentle breeze that teases you with the smell of rain. Watching kids go to school every morning, with their colorful backpacks , beaming with energy.

Pumpkins are indeed some of the most versatile ingredients. they are great in savory and sweet recipes alike. They work in salads, soups, desserts, appetizers and main meals. Added to that, pumpkin is a wonderful source of vitamin A and C, fiber and potassium. It is low in calories (unless you load it up with butter and sugar and pour it in a pie crust :))

Here in  the middle east, pumpkins are a popular fall ingredient. They are used to make dips, soups, main dishes and kibbeh.What’s interesting is that many of the pumpkin recipes popular here are vegetarian, like the one I am sharing with you today. Over the next few weeks I will be posting a few pumpkin recipes, traditional middle eastern and  globally inspired ones. If you happen to be a fan of these wonderful orange globes, do stay tuned :)

Pumpkin and lentils in a tomato sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

700 gm (6 cups) (half of a medium pumpkin) pumpkin (peeled, deseeded and cut into cubes)

1 medium onion chopped

2 cups tomatoes peeled and chopped

2 cups lentils washed

5 cups water

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon all spice

Salt

Saute the pumpkins in the olive oil until they are soft and slightly golden brown, take out of the pot, set aside

(traditionally, the chopped pumpkin is fried for a richer taste and firmer texture but I decided to saute it to make it a little healthier )

In the same pot, saute the onions until they are soft and translucent.

Add the lentils and chopped tomatoes and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes, while stirring.

Add the water, reduce the heat and cook for 40 minutes or until the lentils are done (you can tell by tasting a few).

You may need to add more water depending on how much water your lentils will take up while cooking

Add the pumpkin,tomato paste, salt and all spice and cook for 10 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley, drizzle with a little lemon juice and serve with pita bread and olives.

Notes:

Lentils cooking time varies with the brand of lentils. I usually soak the lentils for 15-30 minutes before cooking to reduce the cooking time.

The amount of water you add to the recipe depends on how you like the final consistency. I like it thick and serve it with pita bread. You can make it thinner and serve it with rice if you add more water

Coming soon

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47 Comments

  1. Anonymous

     /  October 8, 2012

    looks amazing. cannot wait to try. Thank you.

    Reply
  2. I’m enjoying the abundance of pumpkin recipes out there at the moment. This looks lovely and autumnal, and healthy too. Yum!

    Reply
  3. Shelley

     /  September 30, 2012

    Just randomly searching for good fall vegetarian recipes, and this one looks amazing. What a winning combo….lentils and pumpkin. I’ll try it this week. I know my whole family will like this one. Thank you, and I’ve bookmarked your site.

    Reply
  4. miriam

     /  September 30, 2012

    what a beautiful and intriguing looking dish! very nice post…it must be exquisite..what is the dish called in arabic( english letters please)?and how traditional is it? there is a dish simliar made in southern turkey and perhaps syria with lentils but with zuccini and mint

    Reply
    • Thank you Miriam, in Arabic it is called (yaateen bel adas)
      There are so many recipes that are vegetarian here in the middle east because back in the old days very few people could afford to eat meat on a regular basis. As a result they made the best out of seasonal vegetables and used them in many recipes. This is one of the well known fall recipes using pumpkins and the lentils are added to increase nutritional value

      Reply
  5. Candied pumpkiiiiiiiiiiiiin :D
    The first dish kind of reminded me of abu basti, but I suppose they put chickpeas and meat in that :) Looks really good though :)

    Reply
  6. Your photos always just blow me away Sawsan! And I’m definitely going to stay tuned. I LOVE pumpkin! It’s one of my favorite things about fall. I never thought to try it like this though. It’s now on my list of pumpkin recipes for the season. :)

    Reply
  7. I’ve never heard of fried pumpkin! I know it’s not healthy, but I might have to try just to see how it taste. Anyhoo – thanks for thinking of our health and sauteing the pumpkin instead. :) This soup looks delicious and with those healthy ingredients, it definitely is good for the body and the soul.

    Reply
  8. Oh this totally screams fall! What a gorgeous dish, Swasan! :)

    Reply
  9. I adore pumpkins and lentils – and I am sure that I would have had to have had a little nibble of the sauteed pumpkin before finishing off making that gorgeous dish!

    Reply
  10. I feel like I wanna try to grab those with some naan. Looks so delicious

    Reply
  11. What a beautiful recipe perfect for this chilly fall weather!

    Reply
  12. Anonymous

     /  September 26, 2012

    Hey, That looks incredible!

    Reply
  13. Eha

     /  September 26, 2012

    A beautifully photographed appetizing dish I’ll copy soonest. Tho’ spring has definitely sprung here lovely pumpkin is still available at the supermarkets & I too will be looking forwards to your other pumpkin recipes!

    Reply
  14. I just harvest a sugar pumpkin from my garden, your pumpkin recipes are very timely.

    Reply
  15. Eva Taylor

     /  September 25, 2012

    Even though I’m sure my suitcase will weigh more than my limit, I had to buy some of the famous puy lentils from Lyon! We’re in Paris now but I’m dreaming of using them when we get back! I shall bookmark this recipe to try with them.

    Reply
  16. A perfect dish for fall!

    Reply
  17. I’m looking forward to your series on pumpkin recipes. I love the flavor, but don’t use it much in savory dishes. My mistake, and I have lots of recipes on my list to make, but I just never get around to doing them. I suspect you’ll inspire me – I love this recipe, for instance. Anything with lentils gets my vote, and I have had them combined with pumpkin before – great combo. Really nice post – thanks.

    Reply
  18. I love the fall and pumpkins too! I’m really in the mood to make lots of pumpkin recipes. This one looks really delicious and I love how healthy it is. Thank you for inspiring me for dinner tonight :)

    Reply
  19. saffronandhoney

     /  September 25, 2012

    I agree! I love fall colors and pumpkins are seriously underrated, this looks wonderful.

    Reply
  20. flavorsofthesun

     /  September 25, 2012

    What a lovely combination that I haven’t tried before. Thank you, Sawsan, for posting this. I’m looking forward to seeing more of the pumpkin recipes you have promised to post.

    Reply
  21. I have never had pumpkin soup unless the pumpkin was blended. How beautiful it is to leave the pumpkin in chunks and how much more interesting the soup is to eat. I LOVE this recipe! This is going to become one of my “must have” recipes!

    Reply
  22. This is such a wonderful combination of lentil and a vegetable. I love how delicately it is spiced, really bringing out the flavor of the dish.

    Reply
  23. This recipe look so colorful! I never thought of mixing pumpkin with lentil, but I can imagine it tastes great.

    Reply
  24. I haven’t made a dish with actual pumpkin in awhile. This looks delicious!

    Reply
  25. This sabzi looks incredible my friend, I simply love lentils and pumpkin together! :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

    Reply
  26. Promenade Claire

     /  September 25, 2012

    your description of autumn in the middle east sounds beautiful! and count me in for a serving of pumpkin and lentils, two of my favourite things !!

    Reply
  27. You know we make something similar with bottle gourd and lentils too.. and eat with some India roti (bread).. its so so similar!! intrigued by the pumpkin candy!!! :)

    Reply
  28. Aside from soup and pie, I really dont cook with pumpkin very much. Your dishes here, though, sure do make a case for expanding my repertoire, especially given how much I enjoy lentils. Pumpkins are beginning to apear at out markets, too. You’re timing could not have been better.
    BTW, Sawsan, I shared some of your posts with Zia. She was particularly interested in Petra and, like me, marveled at your pate a choux swans. You’ve got a fan in Michigan. :)

    Reply
    • Thank you kindly John for a comment that made my day!
      I am honored that Zia liked my posts! Please do send her my best and tell her that having her as a fan is a joy and an honor

      Reply
  29. Yum. This looks delicious Sawsan. Lentils and pumpkin – two of my favourite ingredients! Lovely photos too. Looking forward (with great curiosity) to your candied pumpkin recipe too. Pumpkin isn’t commonly used as a sweet ingredient in Australia, but I love using it in baked goods for the children.

    Reply
  30. I have to try this… looks great!

    Reply
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