It’s the Pumpkin season! Closer we are getting to Thanksgiving, my email feed is being stuffed up with recommendations of Pumpkin recipes. While pumpkin occupies a huge part on the tables at homes across the world in the form of pancakes,cakes, pies and warm winter soups, Indian cuisine owned this orange fleshy goodness with an unique adaa in the form of comforting dals or humble curries. Did you hear about the quintessential dish from Andhra cuisine, `Gummadikaya Pulsu‘? Will share the dish once I nail the recipe. Somehow I forget to pick up this vegetable on regular market visits. Now that I am adamant to relish this famous vegetable in all the myriad tastes, I am sure you’ll find more recipes around this golu-molu vegetable here.
There is an other variant – the white pumpkin which is usually savoured in the form of a sweet, halwa or a vadiyams (fryums). The halwa is a pretty time consuming task hence got only cameo roles during festive occasions, Sankranthi most often. ;P And the fried vadiyams, favorites from childhood are beauties! Crushing and mixing them on the top of steaming hot white rice in the company of ghee is a food habit I picked up from mom which she picked up from grand ma. More and more I learn about food habits that define and differentiate our taste preferences and cuisines, I have been growing eager to dig up the anthropology of Indian food. How incredible it is that one life is just not enough to savour food in its uncountable forms! 😀
November is the month of no onion and no garlic addendum, a practice which I couldn’t come to terms with any rationale till date. Would be happy to hear if you have any idea about this. Fed up looking at mom’s plate with plain dal or rice since the start of this month (Karteeka, its called in Telugu Calendar), I took it upon myself as a challenge to break the monotony. I wanted to have both dal and pumpkin curry one day and I was too lazy and thought why not mix them both, which brought Pumpkin Dal to the table. While I usually steam vegetables and add tadka for no onion, no garlic versions of curries, I wondered if a dal would sing the right tunes without the magic of garlic and onions. This recipe of Pumpkin Dal surprised me in all ways reimbursing belief in conjuring good dishes even without the usual ingredients. I have adapted Swasthi’s recipe from here.
1 cup chopped Pumpkin
½ cup lentils ( Here, I used Masoor Dal aka Red lentils)
3- 6 green chillies (adjust according to your spice levels and hotness of a mirchi)
2 medium sized chopped Tomatoes
¼ cup Evaporated/Pasteurized Milk
1 tbsp Mustard Oil
Salt (to taste)
15-20 nos peppercorn
1/8 tsp Asafoetida
Handful of curry leaves
½ tsp Cumin seeds
¼ tsp Turmeric
- 1.Pressure cook lentils with 1.5 cups of water and chopped pumpkin with peppercorns, green chillies for 3-4 whistles. If you are using split pigeon pea or bengal gram, soak the dal before cooking so that it mashes up easily within 3-4 whistles.
- Add mustard oil into a heated up pan. Followed by asafoetida, cumin seeds and turmeric.
- As the cumin crackle, add chopped tomatoes. Cook them in medium flame until tomatoes come together mushy.
- Now, pour milk into it and simmer for 5 mins.
- To this, add the pressure cooked pumpkin-lentil mixture along with salt.
- Let the dal boil in low flame along with the tadka for 2-3 minutes and adjust the consistency of the dal with water.
I had paired it up with sauteed greens along with steamed rice. It tasted good with phulkas/rotis as well.
Note: One could swap normal milk for coconut milk.
Did you try this recipe? Would love to hear about trial. Tag your dish @9sowmya9 with the hashtag #tadkatales on Instagram.