1 Heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and sauté the onions, garlic, ginger, mustard seeds and red chilli together for about 5 minutes until the onions start to turn brown. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, masala and curry leaves and stir-fry until everything is mixed. Add the drained lentils and boiling water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes or until the lentils are cooked and tender.
2 Preheat the oven. Mix the pumpkin slices with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and spread in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake for about 30 minutes. Turn the slices over and roast for another 5–10 minutes until golden-brown and cooked through. This step is optional, but adds to the flavour of the meal.
3 Stir the tomatoes and coconut milk into the dhal and simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes. Melt the butter in a pan and fry the curry leaves for a minute or two. The leaves become crispy and flavour the butter (keep the heat low so that the leaves don’t scorch). Check the seasoning of the dhal, then drizzle the curry leaf butter on top. Serve with the sliced pumpkin. Optional extras include coconut shavings, crispy fried onion flakes, chopped green chillies, plain yoghurt and, of course, rotis or parathas for dipping in the curry!