Red Pumpkin Bharta

24 Mar

Red pumpkin bharta is a dry preparation of pumpkin, a simpler version of red pumpkin curry with stronger notes of mustard oil.

Unlike traditional bharta (mashed vegetables) like baingan bharta, this one does not use boiled/roasted vegetables as its base. Pumpkin cooks quickly and mashes easily without pre-treatment. This is also a chunky bharta instead of a typically smooth one, which works well with pumpkin.

The deal here is in the style of cutting the pumpkin. We need the julienne cut. Use a good knife and a strong arm. Once you have the julienned pumpkin ready, cooking red pumpkin bharta is a matter of a few minutes.

Red pumpkin bharta tastes so good, the effort of cutting feels totally worth it.

Red Pumpkin Bharta

You Need:

  • Red pumpkin – 400 grams
  • Jaggery – 2 teaspoons
  • Salt – to taste
  • Red chili flakes – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Panch phoron* – 3/4 teaspoon
  • Mustard oil – 1 tablespoon

*Panch phoron is a mix of five whole spices (fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds, black mustard seeds, fennel seeds), typically used in Bengali cuisine. If you don’t have panch phoron on hand, use a combination of the ingredients in the list that you do have.

How To:

Cut red pumpkin into thick juliennes.


Heat a tablespoon of mustard oil in a pan.

When the oil is smoking hot, add to it panch phoron, followed by asafoetida.

Add red chili flakes next, and then tip in julienned red pumpkin.

Red Pumpkin Bharta, Cooking 1

Cook on medium-high flame for 5 minutes. Add salt and jaggery.

Red Pumpkin Bharta, Cooking 2

Stir and cook for another 5-6 minutes, or till the pumpkin strips start to disintegrate.

Serve red pumpkin bharta on the side with chapatis and a curry like channa masala or tomato toor dal.

Red Pumpkin Bharta


3 Responses to “Red Pumpkin Bharta”

  1. pr May 25, 2015 at 5:45 PM #

    Good recipes.
    But I have one suggestion. Please use new, clean kadhais for clicking pics during cooking. I find it gross to see pics of food in old , rusty kadhais :)

    • S May 25, 2015 at 6:32 PM #

      Thanks pr.
      [My loyal old kadhai shed a tear]

  2. S July 10, 2016 at 2:16 PM #

    Here’s a new pic. Meal today (clockwise from top): red pumpkin bharta, ginger chutney, sliced tomatoes, chapati, tadka dahi, toor dal.

    Red Pumpkin Bharta, Tadka Dahi, Toor Dal

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