Cooking a few dishes are always nostalgic. They take you down through memory lane. In my childhood, I have seen my mom cook this, and no matter how fussy I was as a kid, I never said no to this dish. My mom used to cut big chunks of pumpkin and didn't remove the skin of it most of the time because of the freshness it provided. Then she used to cook it with panch phoran or a medley of 5 whole Indian spices and fresh green chilli. The finishing touch was added to it by adding little-crushed ginger pieces and sugar. The combination of these two takes this ordinary vegetable to another level. Serve this with poori or rice, you will love each and every bite of it.
Later, after my marriage, I saw my mother-in-law cooking this. The method was just a little different; she used to add some black mustard and tamarind paste in the end. Her version was spicier, but I loved it too. Next time, I will share her method.
Coming back to this pumpkin recipe, I have made a few changes; we don't get the kind of pumpkins like we did in our hometown. So, I always remove the peel, and in the end, I add one teaspoon of lemon juice to balance the sweetness. This dish really stands out in the crowd of heavy and rich Indian food because of its humble simplicity. If you haven't tasted it yet, please do give it a try.
Pumpkin- 2 cups, cut into cubes
Green chilli- 1, slit in half
Panch foran spices- 1 teaspoon. (it's a mixture of equal parts of black mustard, nigella, fenugreek, fennel, and cumin seeds.)
Turmeric -½ teaspoon
Salt -as per taste
Mustard oil /Canola oil- 1 tablespoon
Sugar/brown sugar- 1 teaspoon
Crushed ginger- 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice- 1 teaspoon.
In a hot pan/wok, add oil
Add panch foran and chilli
Add turmeric and salt
Cook it on low flame for 5-6 minutes without adding any water. Cover with lid
Saute it and cook it again for 6-7 minutes with lid
Remove the lid. You will see that the pumpkin looks cooked. Then add ginger, sugar, and lemon juice.
Saute for 2-3 minutes
Serve hot with poori or rice
Note- Your cooking time can be increased or decreased depending on the size of your pumpkin cubes or the freshness of it.