My favorite Indian cookbook is “Step-By-Step Indian Cooking” by Sharda Gopal.
Why am I telling you that?
I dunno, I guess I just needed to get it out there.
I guess I just needed someone else to know.
Just like I want you to know that I find this song annoying, that I would like to kill the Geico gecko, and that I’m not digging The Big Bang Theory anymore.
There, I said it. Now sue me. Or do whatever you deem is right.
Back to the Indian cookbook. I love it because the recipes are simple and the kind you can make quickly and easily at home.
Sharda is a warm and friendly writer, and she encourages you to adjust up or down the amount of spices to fit your palate and dietary requirements.
Many of the recipes can be made with ingredients you'll find almost everywhere, though they’re not overly westernized, and you'll appreciate it when you sit down with a warming eggplant curry or a green bean toran.
Over the years I’ve fallen in love with one particular recipe in that cookbook: Aloo Masala (also called Dry Spiced Potato).
It’s a popular south Indian vegetarian spicy dish. Made with a good amount of spices, fresh tomatoes, and potatoes.
I tweaked (not twerked) the original recipe and replaced (most of) the potatoes with pumpkin.
One word: DELISH.
Pumpkin is like a sponge, it absorbs flavors beautifully, and - to be honest - you need to work really hard to make pumpkin taste bad.
If you are new to Indian cooking, and you want to try a simple vegetarian curry recipe, this is the perfect one for you. Anyone can nail it.
Few ingredients, simple technique, and awesome results.
The pumpkin melts in your mouth and bursts with flavor. It's really, really, but like really good.
Even my friend Vidya, let me rephrase that, even my very opinionated friend Vidya said “This is really delicious. I’m impressed!”
Now that’s validation!
Easy Pumpkin Masala Print this recipe!
Adapted from Step-By-Step Indian Cooking
3 cups / ¾ lb / 310 gr pumpkin, diced
1 small potato, peeled and diced
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small bunch cilantro, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder (use more or less depending how hot you want it)
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
1 dry bay leaf
1 cup / 250 ml water, divided
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon mango powder-amchur (optional)
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion, garlic, ginger, and half of the cilantro. Sauté until the onion becomes translucent, about 8 to 10 minutes.
Add garam masala, chili powder, bay leaf, and mango powder (if using), and sauté for 30 seconds, until fragrant.
Add pumpkin, potato, diced tomatoes, ½ cup of water, and salt.
Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for about 25 to 30 minutes — until the pumpkin has softened, the potato is cooked, and the water has been absorbed.
In the meantime, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a small saucepan add cumin and sauté for 60 seconds or until the fragrance emerges (be careful not to burn it though.)
Add the cumin to the pumpkin mixture along with remaining ½ cup of water.
If it looks too dry, adjust by adding more water one tablespoon at a time.
Garnish with the remaining cilantro and serve.
One serving yields 98 calories, 4 grams of fat, 10 grams of carbs, and around 3.5 grams of protein.