Indian Pumpkin Curry with Dal
Recipe for Indian Pumpkin Curry with Lentils / Yellow Pumpkin with Chana Dal / Kaddu Dal Recipe
What do you do when you come back from a vacation and see 4 large pumpkins waiting on the kitchen floor, to say hello to you! That's the scene in my kitchen these days. The kitchen garden is currently in a pumpkin phase. I am unable to use it all up. And then there is the logistics of giving it away to neighbours, family and friends. And the househelp's neighbours, family and friends. And so on.
I've newly discovered Snapchat (Username: saffrontrail) thanks to the friends I made on the Jordan trip last week. The best way to master any social network is to goof around it a bit and figure out how it works. That's what I did this morning on Snapchat - starting with the whole pumpkin to chopping it, to preparing it step-by-step. Now the thing about Snapchat is that the content stays only for 24 hours and whether it is worth all this bother, is to be seen. But I am only 3 days old, so the experimentation will continue for a few days.
Back to this curry....I love pumpkin tea-cakes, muffins and the likes. I remember lusting after this pumpkin-cream cheese tea cake on Pinterest. But in Indian cooking, I either like the Pumpkin Sambar or the Punjabi style Khatti Meethi Kaddu Subzi. Besides this I do not venture much with this vegetable. I feel, given its sweetness, it lends itself between to sweet dishes and desserts, than main course dishes.
Here's my attempt at creating a deliciously spicy main course dish with pumpkin and Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram Dal).
Nutrition Bytes at the end of the recipe
Indian Pumpkin Curry with Lentils / Chana Dal
To prepare curry base
- Wash the chana dal a few times and soak in enough water for 30 minutes.
- In a pan, boil 1 cup water with 1/2 tsp salt. Add the diced pumpkin to this. Cover and cook for 6-7 minutes, until pumpkin is tender, but not mushy. Drain and keep aside. Reserve the cooking liquid.
- Drain the soaked chana dal, pressure cook with 1 cup water+1/2 tsp turmeric for 3 whistles and on sim (low flame) for 7-8 minutes.
- In a pan, heat the oil. Add the panch phoron spice mix. If you don't have this, then use 1/2 tsp each of cumin and mustard seeds. Stir around the spices until aromatic, for around 30 seconds on medium flame.
- Add the asafoetida, green chillies and onions, with a pinch of salt. Saute this for 4-5 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, turmeric, coriander powder and allow to cook on a medium flame, until tomatoes are pulpy. If too dry, add some of the cooking liquid reserved from cooking the pumpkin.
- Once this is ready, add the cooked pumpkin and the chana dal.
- Add amchoor powder, garam masala powder and bring to a simmer, mashing this a little with the back of the ladle.
- Check the seasoning, adding any salt if required.
- Remove into a serving bowl and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
NUTRITION BYTES - Health benefits of Pumpkin and Bengal Gram Dal
This dal is excellent for diabetics and weight watchers alike because of its low GI, which means that it causes a very slow rise in blood sugar (and that is good for our body). It is also rich in fiber, protein and antioxidants. Pumpkin by itself is a superfood, because of its beta carotene content (vitamin A) and dietary fiber. Both combined, this is highly nutritious curry, naturally vegan and gluten free.