You don’t have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces – just cook good food from fresh ingredients”
This easy Curry Pumpkin or Kadu ki Sabzi is another super simple, one pot recipe from the Punjabi cuisine that makes a hearty, healthy family meal served with rice or roti. Add a few condiments, like pickles and chutneys, and some raita to make it an absolute treat.
I used to avoid cooking anything with Kadu, petha or hard skinned pumpkin simply because cutting and peeling the Kadu always took so much effort and time. Most times I ended cutting my hand pretty bad with it or I had to wait for my husband to help me with this laborious task. But no more! Thankfully I found this easy tip somewhere on the Internet a few years back to cook the pumpkin before cutting or peeling it. All you have to do is wash the whole big thing from outside. Cut it into two halves with skin on, wrap it in foil sheets and bake in a preheated oven till it is nice and tender.
The baking time can vary according to your requirement. If you want the pieces slightly firm for salads, you can bake it just enough to make the skin tender enough to slip off easily. If you want to add it to soups, pies, curries or make puree, cook it all the way till the flesh is buttery and creamy. You can test for doneness every five minutes after the first 10 minutes. Just poke with a knife or fork to check how tender the skin is.
I buy a big pumpkin, cut it into two or four large pieces and cook this way. It saves me the trouble of going through the process again and again, and I have ready to use pumpkin for whatever sweet and savoury recipes I need it for. It lasts a good while in the freezer this way and can be preserved even for when it’s out of season.
If you don’t have an oven, you can do same procedure in microwave. Instead of wrapping in foil, place the pumpkin half in microwave safe dish with little water in it. Turn the cut side down and microwave for 20 minutes or till the skin is soft enough to slip off.
Don’t waist the seeds. You can plant them in the garden or dry them to add to breads, soups and salads for extra nourishment.
Pumpkin seeds are full of nutrients and delicious. You can wash them in a colander to remove the pith attached. Dry them with kitchen towel. Spread in a tray, cover with a muslin cloth and leave under Sun to dry for 2-3 hours for a couple of days.
Or you can roast them in a preheated oven at 180 degrees C for a 10 minutes. They can easily be roasted in a skillet on stove top too.
Sprinkle with a little spicy seasoning of your choice, drizzle over some olive oil to make a healthy and yummy munching food too.
1/2 kg pumpkin flesh
1 medium onion, sliced
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 inch piece ginger, finely chopped
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
salt to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive, coconut, mustard or avocado oil
Fresh coriander and green chillies for garnish
This Is What You Do:
Wash and cut pumpkin into two halves. Remove the seeds and pith with a knife or scoop out with tablespoon.
Wrap the halves of pumpkin in foil sheet. Place in a preheated oven for 30-40 minutes (depending on how tough the skin is) at 180 degrees C.
Remove from oven and easily scoop out the very soft and buttery flesh. Take 4 cups for this curry and store the remaining in fridge or freezer to use later in soups or desserts.
To prepare the curry, heat oil in a deep frying pan. Add sliced onions, sauté for two minutes or till just change colour (do not brown).
Add tomatoes, ginger, garlic and all the spices and salt. Add 1/2 cup water. Cover the pan and allow the masala to simmer on medium low heat till the tomatoes are soft and begin to dilute in the curry to make a sauce.
Add the pumpkin, mx well. Add 1/4 cup more water and cover the pan again for another 5-6 minutes to allow the flavours of curry blend nicely with the pumpkin.
Turn off heat. Squeeze a lemon over the curry.
Garnish with fresh coriander and chopped green chillies. Season with a little garam masala or a blend of ground cumin, cinnamon and black pepper.
Serve hot with plain rice or roti. Raita and pickles go great on the side.