South Indian Pumpkin Upkari/Stir Fry

Introduction: South Indian Pumpkin Upkari/Stir Fry

About: A full-time blogger with a passion for cooking and baking! Check out my blog for simple and delicious creations from my kitchen!

A simple, quick stir fry with exotic but simple spices from south India. Just a whiff of asafetida with a hint of turmeric and added lentils for flavor and texture is all this curry or stir fry needs.

Step 1: Ingredients Needed:

2 cups peeled pumpkin, chopped into big chunks

1 tsp mustard seeds

3 to 4 dry red chilies, or according to your taste

½ teaspoon urad dal/split black gram lentils

Few curry leaves

¼ teaspoon hing/asafetida

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 to 2 tablespoons jaggery(unrefined cane sugar)/brown sugar

Salt to taste

2 teaspoons coconut oil

Step 2: How to Make Pumpkin Stir Fry:

Heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a large wok or kadai.

Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds.

When the mustard seeds start to splutter, add red chillies (cut into 2 to 3 pieces), urad dal, hing/asafetida and curry leaves; saute for a few seconds.

Step 3:

Add the pumpkin pieces, turmeric powder, jaggery (add only 1 teaspoon first and then add more later, depending upon how sweet the pumpkin is) and salt to taste. Mix well.

Step 4:

Close with a lid and cook on medium heat, stirring in between till slightly soft and just until tender. If you feel the vegetable is too dry, sprinkle a few spoons of water while cooking.

Step 5:

Do not let the pumpkin cook too much or they will turn mushy.

Remove from heat and serve hot as a side dish with rice and dal or even with any flat bread.


Step 6: Notes:

Do not use too much water while cooking; keep adding as needed.

The same recipe can be used to make other vegetable stir fries using green beans, potatoes, carrots, beetroots, broccoli etc. Adding jaggery is optional.

If you cannot find dry red chillies, substitute with chopped green chilies/jalapenos.

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    3 years ago on Step 6

    I'd love to try this dish (I have two huge pumpkins ready for Halloween). I'm wondering if you could recommend a substitute for the asafetida?


    Reply 2 years ago

    Sorry for the delay in replying! Of course, you can omit the asafetida; tastes amazing still! We just love the flavor of it, so end up adding to many of our dishes! :)


    Reply 3 years ago

    Hi!! You can omit this spice powder and go ahead and make this dish. Asafetida is just a common spice used in Indian cooking but if omitted, the dish still tastes good! Do try this easy pumpkin stir fry; a favorite in our house!


    3 years ago

    This looks delicious!
    You missed the mustard seeds, in your ingredient list.


    Reply 3 years ago

    Thanks so much for pointing it out! I have corrected it now. Thank you once again!