A humble everyday pumpkin curry gets an interesting and delicious makeover in my kitchen with the irresistible crispy onions sprinkled on top!
There was nothing special in this pumpkin curry until I applied my magical twist on it! If you are not very fond of pumpkin, you will become one once you try my today’s dish and I can guarantee that! Pumpkin or kaddu as called in Hindi or kumro as called in Bengali is available in abundance in this subcontinent and I am very sure it’s quite regular in most of our Indian households. Am I right? If you are annoyed at that orange vegetable which is glaringly staring at you and you don’t have any clue how to make it differently this time, then keep reading my story of pumpkin curry!
I have mostly love pumpkin since my childhood. Actually, if I start reflecting on my childhood eating habits, I realize that I was fond of almost all vegetables when I was little only exception being bitter gourd or anything bitter for that matter. Even after multiple tricks my mum could not make me eat that bitter veggie! Eventually I started liking it and now at least I am not a ‘bitter gourd hater’ any more. Apart from that exception I was never a fussy eater as a kid and pumpkin curry was definitely up on my list!
This home style pumpkin curry was quite frequently made in my mum’s kitchen. It’s a fairly semi-dry dish and mostly enjoyed with chapatis or phulkas at dinner. I had always liked my mum’s version until I discovered some magical item which takes any curry beyond the level of goodness I had experienced so far! That magic is nothing but the crispy caramelized onions sprinkled on top of the curry at the very end.
Pumpkin is quite a soft vegetable and normally tends to be mushy after being cooked. Once the crispy onions are mixed with the curry, the combination becomes extremely tempting. My mum used to sauté the onions at the beginning and then add the pumpkins to it which is the usual way of cooking any typical curry. I just omitted that step of sautéing the onions in the beginning as they lose all their crispiness in the process. Adding crispy onions on top of the pumpkin curry just before serving takes this humble pumpkin curry to a whole new level which even my hub vouch for!
The pumpkins in the pumpkin curry are also accompanied by Bengali’s good old friend! Yes, you guessed it right! Potatoes! How can any Bengali curry be even complete without potatoes! But potatoes do add a body in this pumpkin curry as the pumpkins alone tend to be too mushy. So, I insist you not to omit the potatoes from it; you can add the potato and pumpkin in the 1:2 ratio i.e. double the amount of pumpkin as compared to potato.
Pumpkin is not a very popular vegetable among food bloggers I guess which I believe is quite unfortunate. Pumpkin is a very nutrient-dense food means it is a powerhouse of vitamins & minerals but at the same time very low in calories! What more can we ask for! Make this pumpkin curry for dinner tonight and give a dose of health potion to your family and yourself! If you want to become more adventurous with pumpkin, then check out my recipe of pumpkin bread here!
- Orange pumpkin – 500 gms, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Potato – 2, medium, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Onions – 4, large, thinly sliced
- Mustard oil / vegetable oil – 2 tbsp + ¼ cup
- Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Kashmiri red chili powder – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Thinly slice the onions. Heat about ¼ cup of oil in a wok and fry the sliced onion in batches to make crispy caramelized onions. This is the longest step in this recipe as you would have to do it in batches. If you tip in all the sliced onions at one go, they will steam and not fry. Hence, they won’t become crispy caramelized onion which is primary taste enhancer of this dish. Set the caramelized onion aside.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Tip in the cumin seeds and let them crackle.
- Then add the potato cubes. Sauté the potato cubes on medium for 5 minutes.
- Then add the pumpkin cubes and keep sautéing them on medium flame until the pumpkin and potatoes change color and turn golden brown on the edges. This would take about 10-15 minutes.
- In a small bowl, make a spice paste by mixing the turmeric powder & Kashmiri red chili powder with 2 tablespoons of water.
- Add the spice mix to the potato pumpkin mixture. Season it with sugar and salt to taste.
- Sauté the spices on high for 2-3 minutes or until the oil starts separating from it.
- Next add about 1 cup of water and bring it to boil. After the water comes to a rolling boil, cover and simmer it for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin & potato cubes are all cooked through.
- Boil off the excess water if any and bring the gravy to your desired consistency. Check and adjust for the seasoning. Switch off the flame.
- Sprinkle the crispy fried onions on top of the pumpkin curry and serve it hot with chapatis or phulkas. Enjoy!