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


Method:

  • 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.

Tips:

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

When I want a simple and comforting meal, my go-to meal is soup. This time I chose yellow pumpkin/squash as my main ingredient. They give great texture and a hint of sweetness to soups. Try out this recipe – even if you don’t like yellow pumpkins! Potatoes were added to give the soup body and a rich feel. The colour of the soup was mind-blowing and it disappeared in no time. A hearty meal indeed!

Recipe Details :
Serves: 2-3 pax
Time: 60 mins
Difficulty: Easy

Ingredients :

  • 1 yellow pumpkin (400-500 g), diced in cubes
  • 3 potatoes, diced into cubes
  • 2 small onions, finely diced
  • 2 green chillies, finely diced
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp white sesame seeds
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly chopped coriander
  • 1 cup water

Yellow pumpkin and potato soup

Yellow pumpkin and potato soup


Method:

  • Cut the yellow pumpkins, potatoes and onions.
  • Chopped veggies

    Chopped veggies

  • Roast the white sesame seeds on low flame. Once they turn slightly brown, set aside.
  • White sesame seeds

    White sesame seeds

  • Now heat olive oil in a pan and add the chopped vegetables and saute them. Add some salt and green chilli at this stage.
  • Once the veggies are partially cooked, add the coconut milk and the water. Let it cook on a low flame for around 30 mins. Stir once in a while to check on the consistency.
  • Once the mixture looks thickened, switch off the flame. Set aside to cool.
  • After around 20 mins, blend the mixture using a blender. Taste the soup and add some salt (if required) and pepper at this stage.
  • Finally garnish this delicious and colorful soup with red chillies, roasted sesame seeds and coriander leaves. Now it is ready to serve and enjoy!

Tips:

  • If you want to incorporate sweeter flavours, roast the pumpkin before cutting.
  • Don’t blend the mixture when it’s very hot. Do not let it cool down completely as well. The warmer it is when you blend it, the smoother the soup will be.