Yellow Pumpkin and Spinach Sambhar

I like to use yellow pumpkins extensively while cooking – they are versatile and can be used in sweet as well as savoury preparations. In South India, Sambhar is a very common dish made using lentils and / or coconut. In this version of Sambhar I have trimmed down both these ingredients and made a non-traditional version. There was no compromise from the taste aspect as this dish turned out to be delicious. You will be surprised what a good combination yellow pumpkin and spinach make with each other!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 4 pax
Time: 40 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients for Sambhar:

  • 1 medium size pumpkin, peeled and diced into medium cubes
  • 3 cups of spinach
  • 1/2 cup of tamarind extract
  • 7-8 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for curry paste:

  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 2 green chillies
  • 1 inch piece of ginger, peeled

Yellow Pumpkin and spinach kozhambu
Yellow Pumpkin and Spinach kozhambu


  • Dry roast the chana dal and urad dal till golden brown in a small fry pan. Let it cool down for 10 mins.
  • Grind the roasted dal along with ingredients for curry paste into a smooth paste. Use a little water during the grinding process.
  • Now take oil in a vessel and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add in the curry leaves and saute them for a minute. Add in the diced pumpkin cubes along with some salt to taste and mix well.
  • Add the tamarind extract such that the pumpkin cubes are immersed in the tamarind water (you may need to add a little water). Cover the pan with a lid and allow the pumpkin to cook on a low to medium flame.
  • Once they are just soft, stir in the spinach leaves, cover the vessel with a lid and let it cook till the spinach is just wilted.
  • Ready to serve state
    Ready to serve state
  • Now add in the curry paste along with 1 cup of water and let it come to boil on low flame. Then turn off the flame and let it rest for 15 – 20 minutes (covered with a lid). Serve it hot with steamed rice or rotis.


  • Make sure to let the dal cool before grinding.
  • When grinding, make a smooth paste – otherwise the final texture will be grainy.

3 thoughts on “Yellow Pumpkin and Spinach Sambhar”

  • Sir, This looks like a great recipe but I have a couple of queries. First, can I use butternut squash for yellow pumpkin? I am in UK and am not sure what exactly yellow pumpkin is. Second, I have both black and beige/white colour mustard seeds – which to use here? thank you for your help. Jane Hendricks

    • Hi Jane, Thanks for liking the recipe 🙂 You can surely use butternut squash in this dish. Please use black mustard seeds while cooking this dish. Do let me know how it turned out 🙂

  • Thank you for your quick reply – will let you know after trying recipe tomorrow! Best wishes.

Leave a Reply