Lightly cooked yellow or orange pumpkin/squash in this tangy-sweet-spicy coconut gravy makes for a versatile accompaniment to rice, dosas, idlis etc. Incorporating all 6 tastes so seamlessly, this little-known South Indian pachadi is a delight to the taste buds in a very unassuming, yet powerful way!
- Yellow/orange pumpkin (cut lengthwise into thin strips) (2 cups)
- Turmeric (haldi) powder (1/3 tsp)
- Salt (to taste)
- Grated Coconut (1.5 tbsp)
- Mustard seeds (3/4th tsp)
- Green chillies (per taste)
- Curry leaves (a handful)
- Tamarind paste (1 tsp)
- Sugar or jaggery (1 tsp or per taste)
- Oil (1 tsp)
- Mustard seeds (1/2 tsp)
- Asafetida (hing) powder (pinch)
- Methi (fenugreek) powder (pinch)
- Coriander leaves (finely chopped) (optional)
- Lightly cook the cut pumpkin/squash in an open vessel with a little water (don’t add too much water – there should be just enough water to cover the vegetables), salt and turmeric. Switch off the flame.
- Add tamarind and jaggery to the cooked pumpkin.
- Grind coconut, mustard seeds (half the quantity taken), green chillies, curry leaves (half the quantity) with water till a paste-like consistency is achieved. Add to the cooked pumpkin.
- Bring the pumpkin gravy to a boil. Switch off flame.
- Heat oil, add remaining mustard seeds. When the splutter, add hing and methi powder and remaining curry leaves. Add the oil to the pumpkin gravy.
- Garnish with coriander leaves, if you want to.
In the meal below, pumpkin pachadi has been served as an accompaniment to rice with keerai mollagootal.
Sweet (pumpkin, coconut), sour (tamarind), salty (salt), bitter (curry leaves, methi powder), pungent (mustard seeds, green chillies), astringent (asafetida, curry leaves).
The ingredients are overall well balanced to form a fairly tridoshic combination. Sweet, nourishing, grounding ingredients like coconut, pumpkin that can be kapha aggravating in excess are combined with pungent, digestive spices like mustard seeds, curry leaves and sour taste (tamarind), while still being balanced out with the sweet addition of a little sugar to not overpower the sourness, make this a well balanced recipe taste-wise too.
If made mildly, with not an overpowering pungent, sour or salty taste, rajasic quality of the pumpkin pachadi can be kept to a minimum, and sattva increased. Fresh ingredients will prevent tamasic qualities from increasing.