• 4-6
  • 10 minutes
  • 35 minutes

A lot of people, myself included, like to stick to tradition when it comes to preparing certain dishes from particular cuisines. Indian is one of the tricky cuisines for me, as I love Indian food and don’t want to compromise on flavor. When I first started converting the Indian recipes I love to paleo, I wondered how I could replace the split peas or lentils in much-loved dal. Still pondering this, I had the good fortune to be in Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory with the Hope For Health team, who are working to create a healthier community. While there, one of the volunteer cooks served up the most amazing dal. I immediately asked to borrow the recipe–and here it is. Serve this alongside any Indian or Sri Lankan dish.

– Pete



Allergens: chili(cayenne pepper)

1/3 cup olive oil or coconut oil

20 curry leaves

1 teaspoon yellow or brown mustard seeds

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon finely grated ginger

2 garlic cloves, chopped

1 lb peeled butternut squash, cut into ½ inch dice

3 teaspoons garam masala

2 teaspoons ground turmeric

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1–2 pinches of cayenne pepper

2 cups vegetable stock, chicken bone broth or water

1 cup coconut cream

1 tablespoon lemon juice

½ head of cauliflower (about 1 1/3 lb),

broken into florets

sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Instructions

Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add half the curry leaves and the mustard seeds and fry for 10 seconds until the mustard seeds start to pop. Immediately strain through a very fine sieve, reserving the oil. Drain on paper towel and set aside. Heat the reserved oil or fat in a large frying pan or casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and squash and cook for 1 minute, then stir in the spices and the remaining curry leaves and cook for 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the broth, coconut cream and lemon juice, cover with a lid and bring to the boil.


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