5 Pumpkin Recipes That Could Make You a Top Chef!

Pumpkins are quite often overlooked when every home is busy making the regular south Indian food that are repeated over and over. What we make everyday is a sambar, rasam, poriyal or kootu, we include keerai in this. We make sambar mostly with raddish, drumsticks or sambar onion.Sometimes we dump these humble pumpkins in our sambar. That’s not a bad idea of course, but we have many other interesting recipes that could turn you into a top chef at home easily! When you are awfully bored with your regular menu, try these recipes as it’s the season for tasty pumpkins.

1. Pumpkin Paal Kootu

This is made for pongal festival and is super easy.

Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 10 mins

Key Ingredients
Ripe pumpkin 250 gms
Milk 1/2 cup (1 cup = 250 ml)
Grated coconut 2 tbsp
Jaggery or sugar 2 tbsp (to the taste)

For tempering
Mustard seeds,
Curry leaves
Hing 1/2 tsp
Red chilli 1 no

1. Wash and finely chop the pumpkin with its skin.
2. In a vessel pour a little water and milk and cook the pumpkin. (do not overcook it)
3. Add jaggery and salt. Then add the grated coconut.
4. Switch off the stove. In a skillet, heat oil, add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
5. Then switch it off and add red chili (split it before adding) curry leaves and hing.
6. Add the tempering to the cooked pumpkin.

Serve hot along with south Indian meal.

2. Pumpkin Chutney

Pumpkin chutney/ Parangikai/ chakkara pushani chutney is a delicious and yet another simple chutney recipe. It takes hardly 20 mins to prepare this. The only challenge here is chopping the pumpkin!

Prep time 5-10 mins
Cook time 10 mins

Key Ingredients

Chopped pumkin – 150 gms
Chopped tomato – 1 no. (medium sized)
Bengal gram – 1 tbsp.
Red chillies 3-4 nos.
curry leaves a handful
cooking oil 2 tbsp
Find more about this Pumpkin chutney recipe here!

3. Pumpkin Puli Kozhambu

Yet another delightful recipe that includes pumpkin. There are lot of variants to this. This is the simplest of all.

Prep time 5 mins
Cook time 15 mins

Key Ingredients
Pumpkin, chopped into 1 inch cubes 250 gm
Tamarind 1 gooseberry size, soaked in water and strained.
Sambar powder 2 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp.

For tempering
Til oil 2-3 tbsp
Red chilies 5-6 nos.
Hing 1 tsp
Curry leaves 10 nos.

1. In a skillet, heat Til oil and add mustard seeds.
2. When it crackles add the ingredients that I have mentioned for tempering and then add the chopped pumpkin.
3. Saute it for few minutes and then add half cup of water and salt. (Do not add lot of water or do not overcook pumpkin)
4. When the pumpkin is half cooked add the tamarind syrup.
5. When the raw smell of tamarind goes off, add the sambar powder. This would roughly take about 3-4 mins. You can even add a little jaggery if you like.
6. Switch off the stove and add fresh curry leaves, rip it with your hand before adding.

Serve hot with cooked rice!

4. Pumpkin Poriyal or Karameedhu

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


Key Ingredients
Chopped Pumpkin 250gms
Cooking oil 2 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Hing 1/2 tsp
Red chilli 1 no.
Powdered Jaggery 1 tbsp
Grated coconut 1 tbsp (or more as per your taste)

Salt to tasteFind this Pumpkin Karameedhu recipe here

5. Pumpkin chakkarai Pongal

Prep time 10 mins
Cool time 20 mins
Key Ingredients
Chopped pumpkin 250 gm
Raw rice 1 cup (1 cup = 250 ml)
Moong dal 1/2 cup (dry roasted for 2-3 mins)
Powdered Jaggery 1 cup (paagu vellam)
Cardomom powder 1 tbsp
Nutmeg powder 1/2 tsp
Edible camphor 1 pinch
1. In a pressure cooker, cook rice, moong dal and pumpkin together by pouring 3 cups of water.
2. Soak the powdered jaggery in 1/2 cup water, strain it when it dissolves completely.
3. When the pressure is released from the cooker, open it and mix the rice, dal and pumpkin well.
4. Now turn on the stove, add the jaggery syrup, cardamom powder, edible camphor and nutmeg powder and keep stirring for 2-3 mins and switch the stove off.
5. In a skillet, heat ghee, add cashewnuts, when in turns light brown add raisins and add this to the chakkarai pongal.
If you have saffron, you can mix it with Hot milk and add it along with jaggery syrup.
Serve hot with fried urad appalam and a dash of ghee

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