Fall is here and with it comes the gorgeous orange pumpkin! There are so many different varieties of pumpkin/squash I realized only after coming to the U.S. I am yet to meet one that I dislike! They are so versatile and stand up to diverse flavors and treatments. I am, however, partial to the reddish-orange pumpkin that is commonly available in India. Here is one recipe for a dry pumpkin vegetable typically made in South India.
Pumpkin, Mustard Seeds, Urad dal, Turmeric, Asafoetida, Dried red chilies, Jaggery, Freshly grated coconut, Curry leaves.
- Peel the pumpkin skin and cut it up into thick chunks (1 cup).
- In a small cup, add a 2″ piece of jaggery. Pour hot water just enough to submerge the jaggery. Allow the jaggery to melt and keep aside.
- Take a pan that has a snug lid and heat 1 tbsp of oil.
- Add 2 tsp of mustard seeds.
- After the seeds splutter, add 3 tsp of urad dal and break 2 dried red chilies and saute till the dal turns light brown.
- Lower the heat and add 3-4 curry leaves as well and saute.
- Add the pumpkin chunks.
- Add 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder, and 1/2 tsp of asafoetida, mix everything with a flat spatula.
- Add 1/4 cup of water to the pan.
- Add the molten jaggery water and mix everything well and close the lid tightly.
- Cook for 5-6 minutes on medium flame.
- Uncover the pan and check if the pumpkin has softened but stays firm. (Test with a toothpick or the point of a knife). Sprinkle some additional water if the pumpkin is still raw and allow it to cook.
- Ensure that all the water has evaporated.
- Sprinkle 4 tbsps of freshly grated coconut and garnish with fresh curry leaves.
- Serve hot with rice and a spicy tamarind curry!