Chickpea, pumpkin and red lentil curry with cauliflower rice

Chickpea, pumpkin and red lentil curry

It’s dark and cold outside, autumn is coming and you’re in the need of some real comforting food. What better then, than a chickpea, pumpkin and red lentil curry! This dish is very suitable for freezing and making lunch-boxes since it keeps fresh for a long time in the freezer. The combination of chickpea, lentils, and pumpkin makes this dish really hearty and also packs it with a lot of great plant-based nutrition.

I chose to make cauliflower rice to this dish but you can easily substitute it for white, or brown rice. The good thing about cauliflower rice though is that it is very low in carbs and still makes you feel full as if you had been eating real rice. Making cauliflower rice is really easy. You can either break the florets into a kitchen aid with the S-blade attached and mince it into rice. You can grind it with a greater also, this takes a bit more time but the result will be exactly the same.

I think raw cauliflower has a bit of an aftertaste, so I usually fry it for a while in a skillet to make it “dryer” and get rid of that raw taste allowing it to have a bit more “nutty” taste.


Cauliflower doesn’t only make a great rice substitute when you grind it, it also a lots a lot of vitamins and nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fibre, Vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.

In this vegan recipe, I bake the pumpkin in the oven before I make a puree out of it. I used a butternut squash, which has a nice nutty pumpkin like flavour, but you could use whichever pumpkin you like. You will wrap the pumpkin in tin foil and then bake it in the oven on quite low heat for about an hour. The tin foil wrap will contract and keep the heat, steam baking the pumpkin.

Butternut Squash

Baking Butternut Squash

When the pumpkin is ready (it should be soft all the way through and you should be able to peel it without effort), let it cool for a little while and then scrape the meat out into a kitchen aid or blender mixing it until it turns into a puree.

Pumpkin Puree

When the preparations are done, this chickpea, pumpkin and red lentil curry, is very easy to make. You pretty much just put all ingredients in large saucepan and cook them to desired consistency and taste.

If you are unsure what type of pumpkin to use, you can have look at this list and see if it helps you choose the right pumpkin for you.

Chickpea, pumpkin and red lentil curry

Chickpea, Pumpkin and Red Lentil Curry with Cauliflower Rice

Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 20 mins

A really comforting dish that it not only full flavours but also low in carbs and packed with good nutrients.

Course: Dinner
Cuisine: International, Vegan
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Olle
  • 2 cans chickpeas
  • 1 onion
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 5 dl (2 cups) water
  • 2 1/2 dl (1 cup) red lentils
  • 2 1/2 dl (1 cup) pumpkin puree
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 veggie stock cubes
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Cauliflower rice
  • 1 cauliflower head
  1. Preheat the oven to 165 °C / 325 °F / Gas Mark 3.

  2. Clean the pumpkin and scrape out the seeds with a spoon.

  3. Line an oven-safe form with tinfoil and put the pumpkin cut-side down on the foil and wrap it up and bake it for about 1 hour, or until the pumpkin is soft all the way through.

  4. Let the pumpkin cool off, then scrape the meat into a kitchen aid or blender and mix it until it becomes a puree. Set aside.

  5. Clean out the kitchen aid or blender and break the cauliflower florets and mix until it looks like rice. Set aside.

  6. Mince the onion, garlic, and chilli.

  7. Heat up a large saucepan with some oil and fry the onion, garlic and chilli for about 1-2 minutes.

  8. Add the curry powder and stir around for about a minute.

  9. Add the rest of the ingredients except for the coconut milk, and bring to a boil then lower the heat and let simmer until the lentils are soft.

  10. Add the coconut milk and taste with salt and pepper. 

  11. Serve with cauliflower rice* and top off with some chilli flakes.

* Optional: Fry the cauliflower rice in some oil in a skillet until desired consistency.


  1. Looks really delicious! Can’t wait to give this a try; nice timing with the weather cooling down too!

    1. Thanks for the nice comment! Yes this one is really comforting. Let me know what you thought of it once you’ve tried it.

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