Cookbook Series: Pumpkin Sambhar

I normally end up cooking the same vegetables almost every week - beans, cabbage, potatoes, carrots etc. But there are so many other vegetables out there. I keep staring at these when I go grocery shopping, wondering how I can use them and  usually get stumped. This leads me back to my familiar zone and pick up the same stuff... happens over and over again. One such vegetable that catches my eye everytime but I never dare to bring home, is pumpkin. I am sure, if you are used to cooking pumpkins you will be like 'Whaaaat!!!' when you read this revelation of mine :D

I love the orange colour of pumpkins and from the looks I always get a feeling  that it is definitely tasty and flavourful.  The symbol of Halloween, these orange beauties are rich in Vitamin A and fibre and low in calories. So I scoured my cookbooks for an interesting recipe with pumpkins and came across Pumpkin Sambhar! It is relatively new to me since I am used to the normal sambhar made with the amalgam of veggies that we normally use (pumpkin is usually not a part of this 'sambhar veggie set').  I am glad I tried this recipe because it is definitely a good dish to add pumpkins also in my regular diet. Very easy to make, this sambhar reflects the lush orange colour of the pumpkin along with a hint of its sweetness. We loved it with steamed rice.

P.S. The actual recipe calls for 'special sambhar powder' for which they have given another recipe! But I  used store bought sambhar powder and it turned out great.

Pumpkin Sambhar: Recipe
(Source: The Family Cook Book by K.M.Mathew)

  • Pumpkin - 24 one inch cubes
  • Toor dhal (split pigeon peas) - 1/2 cup
  • Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  • Tamarind -one lime size piece
  • Onion - 1 medium thickly sliced
  • Green chillies - 3 slit (spice alert!)
  • Curry leaves - few sprigs
  • Salt to taste
  • Ready made sambhar powder - 2 tsp
  • Oil - 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Dry red chillies - 2 split
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish
  1. Cook toor dhal in a pressure cooker with some salt and turmeric till they are soft. Mash it gently with the back of a spoon and set aside.
  2. Soak tamarind in 3 cups of warm water. Squeeze the juice using your hand and discard the pulp.
  3. In a skillet, add this tamarind water along with the sliced onions, pumpkin cubes and the green chillies. Add salt to taste and let it cook.
  4. When it simmers add the toor dal and cook till the pumpkin pieces are soft.
  5. To this add the sambhar powder, stir and simmer for few minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, heat oil in a small pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they begin to splutter, add the dry red chillies and curry leaves. Fry well. Add this tempering to the pumpkin sambhar. Garnish with cilantro and serve hot. Goes well with steamed rice and curd.

Linking this to Healthy Diet - Vegetarian Side dishes @ Cooks Joy:


  1. we do add pumpkin in many of our sambhar.. yup apart form the fact its healthy.. its quite tasty too.. good one rosh!

    Ongoing Event : WTML

  2. yum. This is something we love. Glad you are part of the bandwagon.

  3. Who can resist yummy sambar with rice.

  4. very nice.....i add pumpkin too!it def is very tasty.

  5. Even I like the rich orange color of this sambar..

  6. never added pumpkin in sambhar.. but your clicks and recipe are tempting me..

  7. Colorful and yummy sambar variety

  8. wat a lovely dish! who would have though...pumpkin in sambar??way to go!!!
    u can also try out the recipe for pumpkin soup from my blog! its so tasty!:)

  9. yummy smabar..i think it is sweet taste also

  10. I grew up admiring Mrs. K M Mathew's recipes in Vanitha :) This must have tasted wonderful ! And I loved that orange color

  11. yummmy..looks absolutely fab & mouthwatery
    Tasty Appetite

  12. I never used to love pumpkin before I started cooking .. but nowadays I do prefer this :)

  13. lovely!.can imagine the taste.......must be really really good.

  14. oh that colour! it is so so pretty... mom makes a similar sambar with red pumpkin too which i absolutely love, isnt the sweet-spicy-tangy taste just awesome? like u everytime i go grocery shopping i stare at the 'new-to-me' veggies wondering when i wil ever expand my horizons beyond the usual :D

  15. yummy and delicious sambhr..looks very bright and inviting..

  16. lovely dish, my all time fav....nice clicks!

  17. I was also a little uneasy cooking with pumpkin! I have always avoided them for some reason (I thought they were only for decoration for when October rolls around) but now I can't get enough! I actually tried pumpkin soup for the first time last week, and LOVED it.
    This looks so delicious!

  18. Thanks guys for all your lovely comments :-)

    @ Deeps & Cathleen: Glad to know I have company... thought I was the onky one running away from pumpkins :-D Gotta try the soup too!


Thanks for dropping by. Your comments and feedback are highly appreciated. Happy Cooking!