Pacha Mathan Pachadi (Green Pumpkin Curry)

Green Pumpkin (Hara Kadhu, Pacha Mathan)

I get loads of green pumpkin right through the year. In fact, it is a little difficult to find the yellow variety easily in North India (though freely available in non-organic outlets). Many of the dishes that I love uses the yellow variety – namely sambar, olan. I normally use the green variety to make erisseri (a traditional dish of Kerala). But having erisseri once a week can become quite boring. Hari uses it in sambar, but it is not ideal. I therefore decided to try out another traditional Palakkad recipe – with complete success.

250 gms green pumpkin, chopped into medium sized cubes
A gooseberry sized ball of tamarind
A pinch of turmeric powder (haldi, manjal podi)
1 tsp date paste
Salt to taste
To Grind To A Paste
1/2 cup grated coconut
1 or 2 green chillies
A pinch of mustard seeds
To Temper
1 tsp mustard seeds (sarson, kadugu)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi dhana, venthiyam)
1 dried red chilli, broken into two
1 sprig curry leaves
Use 1 cup of water to soak the tamarind
Exract the juice
Add the pumpkin pieces, salt and turmeric powder to the tamarind extract
The pumpkin pieces must be immersed, otherwise add more water
Cover and cook this on medium flame till the pumpkin pieces are tender
Meanwhile, grind the coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds to a smooth paste, using a little water
Once the pumpkin pieces are cooked, add the ground paste and date paste
Simmer for a couple of minutes till all the ingredients are well mixed
Remove from flame and set aside
Heat a wok and add mustard seeds
Once they begin to splutter, add the fenugreek seeds
Roast for a few seconds and add the dried red chilli
Continue roasting for about 10 seconds and then switch off the flame
Add this tempering to the pumpkin dish
Garnish with curry leaves
Serve hot with red/brown rice or Indian breads

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