Misti Kumro Daal ~ Kabocha squash and red lentil daal

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Misti Kumro Daal ~ Kabocha squash and red lentil daal

What Bengalis like to call Misti Kumro (translation:  sweet pumpkin) is actually a squash.  Kabocha squash.  If you’ve never tried this variety of squash, its delicious.  I love it because you can eat the WHOLE THING.  The skin, the flesh and even roast the seeds and eat them for a snack.  Talk about a sustainable food.  It’s chock full of nutrients like beta carotene, iron, vitamin C and potassium. Long before this squash was available in the U.S. they were grown in parts of South Asia.  Because it is such a sweet squash you can add more chili in the cooking process and get a wonderful sweet/hot dish.  I enjoy making this daal because when you add the lentils the nutrient content skyrockets even more and you can eat it as a soup or with rice (I’m Asian, I eat most things with rice).

Five seeds in Panch Phoron are: Mustard, Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek and Kalonji

Kabocha Squash or Misti Kumro

Saute onions and Panch Phoron together until the seeds begin popping

Add all the other spices to the onion and Panch Phoron mixture before adding the Kabocha squash and red lentils

Add 2 cups of water and let it simmer, covered for about 6-8 minutes

Add the light coconut milk at the end and cook an additional 2-3 minutes

Add chopped cilantro at the very end and enjoy the daal

Misti Kumro Daal

4 cups cubed Kabocha squash – leave the skin on

1 cup red lentils, washed thoroughly

1/2 red onion, chopped

1 tsp salt (or adjust to taste)

1 1/2 tsp red chili powder

1/2 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp Panch Phoron (Bengali Five Spice)

2 bay leaves

1 can lite coconut milk

2 cups water

3 tbsp oil

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

In a large heavy bottom pan saute the onion in oil along with Panch Phoron and salt. After seeds begin to pop, add in bay leaves, chili powder, turmeric and cumin.  Saute for about two minutes so the flavors can marry.  Add the squash and the lentils and stir to coat thoroughly.  Add the water.  Cover and simmer for about 6-8 minutes or until the lentils and the squash are tender.  Add in coconut milk and cook another 2-3 minutes uncovered.  Add chopped cilantro right before taking off the heat.  Serve with rice or eat as a soup.

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10 responses »

  1. Firstly didn’t know Mishti kumro was kaboocha Squash!
    Secondly, I have already done a photo-shoot for Kumror dal – it has to be shelved to a future posting. My MIL makes this dal very often and it is absolutely heavenly!

  2. I love kabocha and picked one up at my co-op today–then put it back down after realizing it was $10! I will have to wait for them to come around at the farmers market again instead. This dal sounds so good!

    • Are you kidding me? I usually pay between $1.89 to $2.50 at my local Chinese grocer. Whole Foods sells it for 1.25 per pound and I thought that was robbery.

  3. Kabocha squash is one of my favorites. This combination with lentils and Panch Phoron looks so good! Good enough to get me to eat it on . . . wait for it . . . RICE!

    🙂

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