Speaking of vegetables I find the Pumpkin as one of the least favored in India.In the West,its a vegetable worth waiting for in the Autumn or Fall season as its associated with Halloween,pies,tarts and baked as chunks and flavored with herbs.But considering the Indian take on this vegetable I have seen children screw up their noses and even adults who say “Yuckkkk” not Kaddu please!Kaddu as Pumpkin is known in India,is one of the best vegetables for experimentation as it adopts all the flavors we add in the recipe.From curries to desserts this humble vegetable can be used in multiple varieties of recipes and I am going to show you an example here.
Priya Suresh’s Shhhhh Secretly Cooking Challenge and my partner for the month Hema Vijai gave me an opportunity to experiment and showcase how the Pumpkin could be turned into a delicious curry which will pair wonderfully with Phulka/Roti,Malabar Parantha,Laccha Parantha or even plain Parantha for that matter.Hema has a wonderful blog which you can see on the following link:
She did a fabulous job of the ingredients I gave her – Spinach and Yogurt!Here is the recipe link from her blog:
Hema gave me two ingredients – Pumpkin and Almonds.I initially thought of making a dessert but decided on a curry instead which pairs marvelously with most Indian breads.After careful planning and a couple of errors I managed to get a fantastic tasting curry.This was an instant hit at home and I plan to try it out in different ways.
This recipe was featured as recipe for the month in Priya Suresh’s Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge.Here is the wonderful logo of the event:
So let me introduce you to the ingredients and process of making this wonderful curry!
Preparation Time – 1 hour
Makes – 5-6 servings
2 cups red Pumpkin – cut into batons
4 large Onions – chopped and pureed with very little water
1/2 cup Yogurt – whisked
1/4 cup Almonds – blanched and skins removed
1 1/2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder(Haldi)
1 tsp Red Chili Powder
1 tbsp Coriander Powder(Dhania)
1 1/2 tsp Green Cardamom Powder(Elaichi)
1 tsp Cinnamon Powder(Dalchini)
2 cups water
2 tbsp Chopped Coriander Leaves
3-4 tbsp oil
Leaving 2-3 blanched and skinned Almonds for garnishing,blend the rest into a fine paste adding 2 tbsp water.Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan and add the Cardamom and Cinnamon Powders and Cloves.Stir on medium heat until the Cardamom changes color and add the ginger-garlic paste.Saute till the moisture evaporates and add the Onion paste.Fry till the oil floats on top and add the Coriander,Red Chili and Turmeric powders.
Stir well and add the Almond Paste.Mix and fry well for 3-4 minutes.
Adding the snow white Almond Paste!
Remove the pan from heat and add the Yogurt.Stir well to mix into the curry paste and put back on heat.Remember to cook on medium heat as we do not want the yogurt to curdle.Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Now add the 2 cups of water and salt.Bring to a boil and add the Pumpkin batons.
Cover and cook for approx 15-20 minutes till the Pumpkin is cooked and fork tender.However while stirring ensure that the Pumpkin is not crushed and mashed but retains its shape.Handle the curry gently.
Once the liquid has reduced and Pumpkin cooked remove from heat.Its your preference of the thickness you want in the gravy.I served this with hot Phulkas so reduced the liquid quite a bit.
Curry served with hot Phulkas!
Remove to a serving bowl and garnish with chopped Coriander Leaves and sliced Almonds.
Serve hot with any Indian Bread of your choice!