Kumbala Curry by Shalini Nanda

Pumpkin curry

  • 1 kg pumpkin, diced in 1″-2″ cubes (peeling is optional and I prefer to leave the skins on)
  • 2 large onions, finely sliced
  • 5-6 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
  • 3-4 green chillies, slit
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 tsp black or brown mustard seed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp dark jaggery, or to taste
  • A few sprigs of fresh coriander, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2-3 tbsp oil

Heat the oil in a deep pan, kadhai or wok and sputter the mustard. Then add the curry leaves and garlic. Saute until the garlic begins to change colour. Then add the onions and green chillies and  fry until the onions soften and begin to brown

Mix the remaining spices with the pumpkin and add to the pot. Stir to mix and add 2 or three cups of hot water and salt. Bring to a boil, then simmer on low until the pumpkin is tender. Stir in the jaggery. Just before removing from the heat, mix in the chopped coriander.

A popular way to eat akki otti and kumbala curry is to tear up the flatbread into  a little mound of bite sized pieces and then ladle on the curry , very like a dish of pasta and sauce, only eaten with your hands! A dollop of fresh butter or ghee tops this off nicely.

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