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Recipes | Three Healthy Indian Curries with Pumpkin and The Gardening Obsession

12 July 2013 8 Comments

Three pumpkin curries,

My extravagance is my little kitchen garden, these plants & flowers are the very first thing I look at and talk to every morning, it gives me so much pleasure” said mom caressing the tender bean climber near her chair. Mom’s little kitchen garden is indisputably one of the best kept secrets of the recipes she dishes out year after year. Fresh vegetables or aromatic herbs, you name it and you get it from this modest 20×20 sq. feet kitchen garden of hers. I really admire how dutifully she manages her time between cooking, gardening and doing routine mundane chores single- handedly.

It’s a delight to watch her pinching tendrils, tying ropes to support the tender climbers, plucking weeds, carefully drafting the saplings from plastic sachet to soil beds and remembering the age of every plant.

During my recent visit to hometown I tasted some of the vegetables from her garden and wished I could make one another trip soon to Udaipur just for those ruby red pomegranates, unripe deep green Guavas, cute little rocky hard custard apples which I missed eating. She did keep seeds for me from last year’s harvest.

kitchen garden, vegetables and recipes

Reaching high…ridge gourd climber at mom’s home…

My heart skipped a beat whenever I saw a baby gourd emerging out from the flower, the ridge gourd climbing on the telephone cable looked so pretty. There is nothing like sitting in a garden surrounded by greens and sipping a hot cuppa in morning…and that is what I did during my stay in Udaipur.

The other day she plucked a fresh yellow pumpkin and cooked a few recipes for me, I bet a Pumpkin never tasted that delicious before. I tried all her recipes at my home with small changes and my family is now a Pumpkin convert.

Coconut is rarely (read never) used in most of the recipes in Rajasthani cuisine, garlic and onion is also avoided in the community I belong to. I added coconut milk to the first recipe after I tasted and loved the Pumpkin-coconut combo for the first time at a friend’s house in Mangalore, India.

1. Quick Pumpkin Curry in Coconut gravy

Recipes | Three Pumpkin Indian Curries


  • 2 cups diced pumpkin cubes
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 4-5 garlic pearls
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp. fenugreek seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • Coriander leaves to garnish

Recipes | Three Pumpkin Indian Curries

Method; Dice pumpkin into small cubes, do not remove the skin. Chop garlic and green chilly finely. I used ready-to-use coconut milk in this recipe. You can make fresh coconut milk or use grated coconut here.

Heat oil, add fenugreek seeds (methidana), chopped garlic, green chilly and sauté for a few seconds do not burn fenugreek seeds or garlic in the recipe.

Add diced pumpkin cubes, turmeric powder, salt and cook for 2-3 minutes on medium heat.

Pour coconut milk and cook for another 5-6 minutes. Take off the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve the Pumpkin curry with rice or flat breads.

2. Healthy Lentil and Pumpkin Curry

Recipes | Three Pumpkin Indian Curries

I remember how me and brother avoided anything Pumpkin when we were small. This lentil curry or stew with pumpkin disguised in it was one sure shot recipe mom knew we would never say no to. She made sure that all the vegetables in the curry was mashed before it was served on the dinning table.

The recipe is so simple, cooks in no time and yes, most importantly full of nutrients too. Add all the ingredients into pressure cooker, go around doing other morning chores and you are done with a recipe which goes well with either rice or flat breads.

Recipes | Three Pumpkin Indian Curries


  • 1 cup diced pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup lentil
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp. ginger-garlic paste
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil


  • 1 tsp. red chilly powder
  • 1 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard seed
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder

Recipes | Three Pumpkin Indian Curries

Method; Wash lentil or Massor daal and soak it till you assemble all the ingredients for the recipe.

Chop pumpkin into small cubes, do not peel pumpkin skin. Peel and roughly chop onion and carrot. Make ginger-garlic paste using a small ginger piece and 3-4 garlic pearls.

Heat 1 cup of plain water in a pressure cooker and add diced pumpkin, onion, whole tomato, carrot, lentil, turmeric powder in it. Let it cook on high heat for 2 whistles.

Let the pressure cooker cool down completely before opening it. Open the cooker and mash whole tomato with a ladle. Give a good stir to incorporate all the cooked ingredients in the cooker.

Heat a small wok and crackle mustard seeds, add ginger-garlic paste and rest of the spice in it and sauté for a few minutes.

Pour the tempering over the cooked lentil and pumpkin mixture garnish with chopped coriander eaves and serve hot with rice or flat breads.

3. Cottage cheese Koftas in Pumpkin gravy

Recipes | Three Pumpkin Indian Curries


For Koftas

  • 1 cup Cottage Cheese
  • 2 bread slices/2 tbsp. soya granules
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 tsp black pepper powder
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp. oil

For Gravy

  • 1 1/2 cup diced pumpkin cubes
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 onion
  • 1/2 cup yogurt/curd
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 2 tsp. chilly powder
  • 2 tsp. coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste

Method; Crumble fresh homemade Cottage cheese and the bread slices coarsely. In a large bowl add crumbled cottage cheese, bread, coriander leaves, black pepper, salt and mix well. If you are using soya granules, soak them in warm water for 10 minutes. Squeeze completely and add to the cottage cheese and make koftas.

Make small balls with the above mixture. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a flat pan and shallow fry all the balls till they turn golden brown in colour.

Peel and chop onion and pumpkin, dice tomatoes.

Heat 1 tbsp. oil, add chopped onion, diced tomato, pumpkin cubes and sauté for 6-7 minute on medium heat.

Blend sautéed onion, tomato and pumpkin into fine puree.

Heat remaining oil in a wok and add cumin seeds. Pour pumpkin puree in the wok, add chilly powder, coriander powder, salt and cook for 10 minutes on medium heat.

Whip yogurt lightly with a fork and add it into the pumpkin gravy. Cook for another 2-3 minutes and take off the flame.

vegetarian koftas with soya  chunks

soya granule and cottage cheese koftas

Add the Koftas just before serving and garnish with chopped coriander leaves and a tablespoon of fresh cream.


  1. Do not chop tomato if you are adding it along with lentils in the cooker, it will hamper the cooking of lentil.
  2. You can replace cottage cheese with 2-3 slices of breads or boiled potatoes to make the Koftas in the above recipe.


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  • Nami | Just One Cookbook said:

    Great roundup for delicious vegetarian curries! Those cottage cheese Koftas look delicious with curry!
    Nami | Just One Cookbook recently posted..Arugula SaladMy Profile

  • Kiran @ KiranTarun.com said:

    It’s not pumpkin season yet, in the States but I’m craving for it thanks to your yummy recipes!!
    Kiran @ KiranTarun.com recently posted..Snow Chrysanthemums & Honey Suckle Iced “Tea”My Profile

  • mjskit said:

    Can definitely relate to the excitement of seeing something grow from a bloom! We planted cucumbers this year in a large pot and then Bobby put a tall grate in the pot for them to climb on. I go outside everyday to see those little cucumbers form. It’s SO exciting! We don’t have room to grow pumpkin, but sure wish we did. All three of the recipes sound delicious! I’m especially drawn to the first curry in the coconut gravy. Saving that for the fall when we can get local pumpkins at the market. Thanks for another lovely post!!!
    mjskit recently posted..Smoky Polenta with Aged CheddarMy Profile

  • Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com said:

    I love pumpkin! This pumpkin in coconut looks so yum!
    so glad to have stumbled on your blog!
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com recently posted..Droolworthy GuacamoleMy Profile

  • Rosa said:

    Three magnificent curries! They look ever so scrumptious and comforting. I particularly like the one with the koftas.



  • dassana said:

    the orange and yellow hues of pumpkin is a delight to see and its beautifully showing in your pics. all the recipes are great.
    dassana recently posted..carrot sambharo – gujarati carrot salad recipeMy Profile

  • Anitha said:

    Hi Sanjeeta, You have a beautiful collection of recipes and wonderful photographs. Love your work.

  • Arc said:

    Made lentil and pumpkin curry along with raw banana curry.. Both came out well.. Thanks!
    Now need to decide which recipe to go for with the remaining pumpkin 🙂

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