Pumpkin Curry

Pumpkin curry is very simple and easy to prepare. When I was kid I never preferred to eat pumpkin curry because of its sweetness. My mother loves it and cooks often at home. We had a culture of eating pumpkin during Tihar festival in my maternal grandparents home. The freshly harvested fully ripen yellow pumpkin is cooked with smoke-dried buffalo meat (buff sukuti) that is prepared during Dashain festival. Smoke-dried meat gives smoky flavor to the curry and enhances its overall flavor.

Pumpkin is one of the vegetables that easily grow in almost all habitable altitude and climatic regions of Nepal from upper-mountain to lower plain of Nepal. When green vegetables are scare in the winter season in rural areas, pumpkin is the perfect alternative as a fresh vegetable. It can be easily stored for several months to a year. It is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Iron and dietary fibers.

pumpkin varieties mustang

Varieties of pumpkin and squash seen stored for winter in one of the house in Mustang

pumpkin and seed

Pumpking- Do not throw the seed. You can dry it, then roast it and use to make achaar or chutney

Last week, my mother sent me pumpkin that was grown in a hilly region. Vegetables from Lek and higher mountainous regions always taste better. I was excited to cook pumpkin curry and share this simple recipe with you all.  Nepalis love it for its sweetness and creamy texture.

Ingredients

500-600 gm Pumkin
1 tbs Ginger and Garlic paste
1 tsp Mustard seed
1 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Fenugreek seed
1 tbs Cumin and Coriander powder
½ tsp Ground Pepper
1-2 Dry Red Chilies
2-3 tbs Vegetable oil (preferably Mustard oil)
Lime juice (or Concentrated vinegar-Chuk)
Salt

Method

Remove the thick skin and inner fibers of pumpkin with the knife. Chop them into small cubes. (Do not throw away the seed. Collect the seed, dry it and store. You can later roast it and eat is as light snack or use ground one as alternative to sesame seed in achaar/salad or chutney.)

Heat vegetable oil in a deep pan. Fry red chilies, fenugreek seed and mustard seed. As soon as seed starts to blister add ginger and garlic paste. Fry it until light brown- until aroma starts to develop.

pumpkin curry in making

Making of pumpkin curry in Nepali way

Add turmeric powder and then add chopped pumpkin. Give it a stir and then add cumin and coriander powder, salt and pepper. Mix them together and cook it for 5 mins with occasional stirring. Add a cup of water and cook it with lid and occasional stirrings for other 20-25 mins in low heat. The pumpkin should be perfectly cooked. Lightly mashed it with spatula making it rough thick gravy.

Turn off the heat and add some lime juice to balance its sweetness. The curry is ready to be served. You can eat it with regular Daal Bhaat Tarkari or Roti. Or you can even eat it as soup. Just add some more boiling water or hot milk. Try with hot milk- it will make super delicious soup.

pumpkin curry

Sweet and creamy pumpkin curry ready to be served

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4 Comments

  1. lendelat's Gravatar lendelat
    December 23, 2016    

    hi, i used white mustard seeds, instead of black ones by mistake. my curry is now a bit bitter 🙁 do not try at home 🙂

    • Prashanta's Gravatar Prashanta
      December 25, 2016    

      You can use the yellow mustard too which actually have mild pungent flavor compared to black one but try to use less quantity if bitter and not to burn the mustard seed!

  2. Jackie's Gravatar Jackie
    May 21, 2017    

    I used light coconut milk, gave it a nice creamy texture and flavour

    • Prashanta's Gravatar Prashanta
      June 15, 2017    

      That’s a good idea…probably better with coconut milk!

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