Pumpkin Sambar

Sambar is one of my favorite veggie curries. A South Indian staple, this curry can never have too many veggies. Use your end-of-summer garden produce if you’re scratching your head wondering what else to cook up.

Toss in beans, eggplants, zucchini, peas, potatoes, tomatoes and more. Personally, I love my sambar with a lot of pumpkin and tomatoes. Ingredients can easily be found at your friendly neighborhood desi / Indian store. My favorute sambar powder brand is Baadshah.

• Tamarind paste
• Water – 1 cup
• Toor dal – ½ cup
• Water – 2 cups
• Tomato – 2
• Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
• Asafoetida – a generous pinch
• Pumpkin – 1 cup
• Eggplant – 1
• Zucchini- 1
• French beans – a handful
• Water – 1 cup
• Salt – ⅛ tsp

• Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
• Urad dal – ¼ tsp
• Fenugreek seeds – 10
• Dry red chilli – 1
• Curry leaves
• Asafoetida – 1 pinch
• Small onions – 10

• Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
• Cilantro leaves
• Salt


• Wash ½ cup toor dal twice and transfer washed dal to Instapot or a large cooking pot.
• Add 2 cups water and ¼ tsp turmeric powder.
• Add 1 spoon if tamarind extract, a generous pinch of asafoetida and 1 chopped tomato.
• Cook till dal is soft.
• Wash pumpkin well, scoop out seeds and fibrous strands, and cut into small pieces. Boil with 1 cup water and little salt.
• Cover the pot and cook on medium flame for 5 minutes. Once it’s soft, remove from heat and keep aside.
• In a pan, warm up sesame oil. Once hot, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add urad dal and fenugreek seeds.
• Add chopped onions, a few curry leaves and 1 dry red chilli with a pinch of asafoetida. Fry on low flame until onions are slightly browned.
• Add a tablespoon of sambar powder, give a quick stir and pour in the tamarind paste.
• Turn to medium flame and cook covered for 10 mins.
• Add a pinch of asafoetida, required salt and cooked dal along with water in it.
*I rinsed the dal and cooked using ¼ cup water and added to it.*
• Mix well, adjust salt and once it starts to boil, add cooked pumpkin along with water in it. Mix gently.
• Let it boil for 5 more minutes. Add chopped cilantro leaves and salt.

Serve with rice or fluffy idlis found…that’s right… in the frozen section at any Indian store! 


What do you want in your next home?