One of my favorite, no points for guessing :), things about Autumn is pumpkin, how cliche, right? I look forward to cooking with pumpkin-curries, stir fries, baking. Hara Kaddu is different in taste and texture from the yellow/orange variety. Its not as sweet or stringy. Its quite crisp in texture and I love making mom's hare kaddu ki sabzi spiced with garlic, hing and dried chilies. The skin is just so delicious and cooks in no time, so don't peel it. This sabzi goes so well with a bowl of dal and rice or with thin plain rotis or pooris. I was out of jaggery powder today and finished it with date syrup for the smoky sweetness along with mango powder (amchoor) & little kala namak(indian black salt).There are savory, sour and sweet elements in this dish. So so good.
I am finicky about texture in food so I keep a close eye and cook the pumpkin just till its tender. You can cook it little longer if you prefer a more soft vegetable. The finishing touch of ground spices adds so much warmth here.
Ingredients (Serves 4)
- 1 lb hara kaddu (or kabocha squash)
- 3 tablespoon mustard oil (or any cooking oil you like)
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds
- ½ teaspoon fennel seeds
- 2-3 dried red chillies
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon hot red chilli powder (or adjust to taste)
- 2 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
- Salt to taste
- ½ teaspoon amchoor (dry mango powder)
- a good pinch of ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kala namak (indian black salt, skip if not available)
- ½ teaspoon date syrup or jaggery
Dry roast and pound (in a mortar pestle) the following spices to add in end
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 clove
- 1 cardamom pod(seeds only)
- 1 gm (tiny) piece of cinnamon
Cut the pumpkin into 2 inch chunks skin on. Discard the seeds and pulp. In an iron kadai/cast iron pan, heat up the mustard oil till its a bit smoky. Take the kadai off the stove, and add the dried chillies, wait for few seconds and temper the oil with fenugreek and fennel seeds.Let the seeds crackle and add garlic and hing to the hot. Return the kadai to the stove and saute everything on low heat for a few seconds, then add the red chilli powder and turmeric to the oil.
Once the powdered spices are very well toasted in oil, add the pumpkin and sprinkle salt. Toss everything together and cover the kadai. Let steam for 5-8 minutes on medium heat till the pumpkin is tender. Cook a little longer if you want the pumpkin to be softer. Uncover the lid and add the ground spices, amchoor powder and black salt.Add jaggery and then toss everything very well. Saute the pumpkin with the spices on medium heat for 2-3 minutes and then switch off the stove. Let sit for 15 mins for flavors to mingle.
Transfer to a dish and serve warm.