Add the oil to a heavy-bottomed pot. Let it heat through.
Add mustard seeds and ginger along with curry leaves. Add other whole spices at this time if available - cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds.
Add the lentils in along with a cup of water.
Let it boil once, put the lid on and turn it to a low simmer. Check on it occasionally while you microwave the squash
Slice the squash into big halves. This is the hardest part so use a SHARP knife but don't slice off a finger
Scoop out the fibrous seeds
Squirt a tsp of oil in each half, put it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave for 6 mins.
Let it cook for a couple of minutes then peel with a sharp knife and chop into bitesized pieces.
Add onions to the lentil mess. Add another 1/2 cup of water.
The lentils should be pliable and half-cooked by now.
Add the rest of the spices and the squash
Cover and cook on low flame. This will take another 15 minutes to cook.
You know the pumpkin pieces are cooked when they are soft and pliable with the gentle pressure of the back of a spoon. The dish is not supposed to look like mashed pumpkin.
Adjust spices, sugar and amchoor to suit your palate such that it is a good balance of spicy, sweet and sour. I have listed some ingredients as optional and you can skip them if not available.
Serve with chapatti or roti or my hubby's favourite, poori