Simmered with Chillies, Sesame, Coconut, and Brown Sugar
One of the things I love most about Indian cooking is how we can take an ingredient that’s ordinary or familiar and transform it into something new and unexpected. For example, you may have eaten pumpkin all your life, but I can guarantee you’ve never tasted it quite like this.
Chunks of pumpkin are flavored with a mellow, nutty blend of sesame seeds, coconut, and brown sugar. Meanwhile, fiery green chillies and mustard seeds provide a sharp counterbalance. The overall effect is a sweet and savory dish that elevates pumpkin beyond the usual desserts to which we’ve become accustomed.
If it happens not to be pumpkin season, this recipe is equally delicious with butternut squash, which you can usually purchase year-round.
One 4-pound pumpkin
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
10 to 12 curry leaves*
3 or 4 Indian green chillies*, cut in half
1 large onion, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup sesame seeds
2 tablespoons coconut powder (unsweetened, desiccated coconut)
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
Cayenne, to taste
* Available at Indian grocery stores