Khatti Meethi Kaddu Subzi : Punjabi style red pumpkin curry

There are some side dishes that make the calories of a poori worthwhile. Aloo subzi and Chole have always been my favourite accompaniments to this deep fried bread and this pumpkin subzi (curry) is a recent discovery. Tangy, spicy and sweet at the same time, it is a great way to make use of red pumpkin which is in season now. In Bangalore, we find the Disco pumpkin which are smaller in size, the Ironbark or the Japanese, all of which have a deep orange flesh. For this preparation, the former varieties are preferred over the yellow flesh pumpkin used for Olan like Koottu.

This is a Punjabi recipe shared by my friend, Kishi Arora of Foodoholics and this is the way her mom makes it. I think I have more or less followed the recipe she dictated to me on phone. We prepared this with Aaloo Bhaaja, Chole, Halwa and Poori for a perfect Navratri dinner. 

Khatti Meethi Kaddu Subzi / Sweet and sour red pumpkin / butternut squash
Time taken : Under 30 minutes
Serves 4 people

750 grams red pumpkin 
1 tbsp mustard oil 
Fat pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp amchoor powder (raw mango powder)
1 tsp red chilli powder
1-2 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp crushed jaggery (or brown sugar)
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp salt or more to taste
Finely chopped coriander for garnish


  1. Peel pumpkin and scrape out seeds. Cut into even sized cubes, about 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch big.
  2. In a wide wok / kadai, heat the oil. Add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds. Once the mustard splutters, add the pumpkin cubes and toss well to coat with oil and whole spices.
  3. On medium flame, cook the pumpkin for 5 minutes or so, then add all remaining powdered spices, including crushed jaggery, add 1/2 cup of water, cover and cook on low flame. This will take at least 15-20 minutes to cook. Keep checking every 5 minutes, if any additional water is required, adding 1/4 cup at a time, if necessary.
  4. When cooked, you should be able to crush the pumpkin with the thumb with light pressure but the shape should be retained, and the whole dish should not turn into mashed pumpkin. 
  5. Adjust the red chilli powder, jaggery and amchoor to suit your taste such that it is a good balance of spicy, sweet and sour. If the pumpkin is inherently quite sweet, you don't have to add much jaggery.
  6. Garnish with finely chopped coriander.
Serve hot with pooris or rotis.


Premalatha Aravindhan said...

wow yummy n delicious sabzi...

Saffron said...

OMG so yummy i want to eat it.
buy kesar

Aparna said...

A nice variation on the humble pumpkin Nandita :). I'm used to mostly South Indian style dishes (like a yummy koottu from my mom) so would love to try this sometime soon.
Thanks for sharing! And the pooris look amazing too.

saffrontrail said...

Hello Aparna,
I make the South Indian kootu too, but not a fan of kootu with rotis, so this is quite a winner when you want a side with chapatis.

saffrontrail said...

Thanks, Premalatha!

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