Pumpkin Kala Chana, Bengali Style

20 Sep

Pumpkin Black Chickpea Curry

A pumpkin kala chana (black chickpea) preparation infused with the Bengali flavors of panch phoron and mustard oil. Dried bay leaves lend a subtle aromatic base to the curry, jaggery brings out the pumpkin’s sweetness, raw mango powder gives it tang.Pumpkin Kala Chana Bengali Style

I’m using the Indian pumpkin in this recipe. You could instead go for other similar squashes: creamy orange flesh compatible with both salt and sweet flavors, such as kabocha or butternut squash.

You Need:

  • Pumpkin – 400 grams
  • Kala chana (dry black chickpea) – 1/2 cup
  • Garam masala powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Roasted cumin powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chili powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Amchoor powder (dry mango powder) – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon (adjust to taste)
  • Jaggery powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Ginger – 1-inch stick
  • Green chili – 1
  • Dry red chilies – 2
  • Panch phoron* – 1 teaspoon
  • Bay leaves – 2
  • Asafoetida powder – a pinch
  • Mustard oil – 1/2 tablespoon
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing

Pumpkin Kala Chana Ingredients

*If you don’t have panch phoron on hand, use a mix of these whole spices: fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, mustard seed, fennel seed.

How To Make Pumpkin Kala Chana Bengali-Style:

1. Boil the kala chana

Soak kala chana overnight (~7-8 hours) in three cups of water.

Drain and boil the kala chana in salted water till done. [In my Indian-style pressure cooker, I would boil half a cup of kala chana in two cups of salted water on high heat till one whistle, then on low heat for another twenty minutes.]

Strain out the water used for boiling the kala chana. [Don’t throw away this water – use it in curries or for kneading parathas.]

2. Chop and Grate

Peel and cut the pumpkin into 2-cm cubes.

Pumpkin Cubes

Peel and grate the ginger.

Cut green chili in half.

3. Cook it all together

Heat mustard oil in a thick-bottomed pan.

When the oil is hot, add the tadka ingredients: panch phoron, asafoetida, bay leaf, green chili and dry red chilies.

Tadka in Mustard Oil

As soon as the tadka is done (quick check: the fenugreek seeds in the panch phoron should have turned a shade darker), follow with pumpkin cubes.

Mix well.

Pumpkin Cooking

Cover and cook on medium heat till the pumpkin is about 3/4th done (10-12 minutes), stirring once or twice in between.

Pumpkin Cooking in Closed Pan

Now add grated ginger, salt, red chili powder, roasted cumin powder.

Pumpkin with Ginger, Cumin, Salt

Cook for another two minutes with lid on. Add the boiled kala chana next, along with jaggery, amchoor powder and garam masala powder.

Pumpkin Black Chickpeas

Mix well. Cook till the pumpkin is fully done.

Pumpkin kala chana is ready. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves.

Pumpkin Kala Chana

Serve pumpkin kala chana with chapatis, ghee, dal and plain yogurt.

Pumpkin Kala Chana Sabzi

Notes:

Try other Indian pumpkin recipes: pumpkin bharta, pumpkin adzuki bean curry, pumpkin mangodi.

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