I picked up this little beauty at the farmer’s market last week.
I love pumpkin (kadoo) just about any way (in pie or custard, curried, roasted, etc.). And there are so many varieties of pumpkin, each with its own flavor, texture, and color. One year, I bought six different types of pumpkins from our local farm!
Most mature pumpkins have hard exteriors and firm, orange-colored flesh; they are available from fall through the winter and often into spring. Green, or young, pumpkins start showing up around the beginning of April, and as you can see, the inside is whitish-yellow and spongy.
I have no idea what type of pumpkin this is—I just recognized it as something I have seen and eaten at my in-laws’ house, so I bought it and then asked them how to make it. Luckily, it turned out delicious. Curried pumpkin is one of my favorite vegetable dishes!
Until now I have only made the mature pumpkin, which is very different in taste and texture from green pumpkin. The skin of a young pumpkin is very thin and soft, so it can be eaten when cooked, unlike the mature pumpkin, which must be peeled. Also, the flesh of the young pumpkin is softer, kind of like zucchini, and the seeds have not fully matured, so they are also edible.
When I saw the young pumpkin at the farmer’s market, I just had to buy one. I love seasonal eating, so whenever something new appears at the farmer’s market, I get really excited to buy some and then enjoy it.
- ½ medium onion, sliced
- 5 cloves garlic, smashed or chopped
- 1 green pumpkin, chopped into ½ inch pieces
- 4-5 Tbl coconut oil
- 1/3 tsp turmeric
- ¾ tsp jeera mix
- 3-5 dried chilis, cut into large pieces
- 4-6 curry leaves
- ½ cinnamon stick
- 1 tsp salt
- Heat oil in a medium pot (use a bit more oil if using a stainless steel pot). When oil is hot, add jeera.
- When spices pop, add sliced onion and stir well. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, but not browned.
- When onions are soft, add ½ cinnamon stick, dried chilis, and curry leaves and cook for a few minutes.
- Add garlic and let cook for about a minute.
- Add pumpkin and stir well. Cover and cook for a few minutes to let the flavors combine.
- Add turmeric and salt. You may also add a small amount (¼ to ½ tsp.) of garam masala and/or coriander powder. Stir well, cover, and cook over medium heat until the pumpkin is soft.
- Check for doneness and add more salt if needed. Serve alone or over rice. Optional: add juice from ¼ to ½ a lemon at the end of cooking to brighten the flavors.
Green pumpkin chopped into ½ inch pieces.
Cooking–the turmeric makes it yellow (and more delicious!).
This step may take a while–just keep stirring and testing for doneness.