Saturday, April 9, 2011

Pumpkin Thogayal (Winter Squash Chutney - Spicy Pumpkin Hummus!)

Rice with Masoor Dal and Pumpkin Thogayal

Pumpkin thogayal is a delicious fresh chutney that adds piquancy to an otherwise bland meal. The original is called Pumpkin Kodal Thogayal (kodal = intestines/innards) which is made with the innards of an immature pumpkin with the idea of "waste not" in mind. But since Paji loves this chutney and we seldom have the good fortune to come by immature pumpkins (or their innards for that matter ;}), I make it with the mature veggies themselves. Butternut, Kabocha, or any other pumpkin-like mature winter squash may be used to make this thogayal.

It might seem that the amounts of tamarind and chilies given in the recipe might be too much; but they are needed to balance the sweetness of the pumpkins. Of course, you are welcome to adjust the tamarind as well as the other ingredients to your preference.

Pumpkin Thogayal may be served with chips, crackers, papdams, fresh breads, flat breads, etc for a delicious and healthy starter. Or use as a spread for sandwiches and wraps instead of hummus or mayo.


1/2 small Pumpkin, Butternut or Kabocha squash, 1 1/2cups
1 Tbsp oil
1/8 cup Urad dal
4 or 5 dry Red Chilies, broken into 2 or 3 pieces
1 pinch Fenugreek seeds (optional)
1 pinch or a tiny piece of Asafetida
1 lime-sized ball dry Tamarind pulp (2 Tbsp)
4 Tbsp fresh or frozen grated Coconut
1 tsp Sea Salt


Soak the tamarind in a small bowl with about 1/3 cup of warm water. When softened, check for stringy fibers, seeds, or shells and remove them.

Peel the pumpkin or squash and cut into chunks; cook/roast until tender. Let cool.

In a small pan heat the oil and add the asafetida chunk and fenugreek if using, dal and chilies (shake out and discard the seeds of the chilies before adding to the oil if you like a milder thogayal). Cook stirring until nicely toasted and the dal turns slightly reddish.

Lower the heat and stir in the coconut and stir well until coconut begins to be fragrant - about a minute.

Remove from heat. Cool well before proceeding further.

Combine all the roasted ingredients with tamarind and salt in the container of a blender and process until well ground but not smooth and pasty.

Add the cooked pumpkin and pulse or process on lower speed just until thoroughly combined and you have a uniform mixture.

Spoon into a container and serve or store covered in the fridge; use within a few days.

Delicious served with any pancakes like dosa and adai, idli, roti, rice dishes and curries/stews like molakootal, molagushyam, poricha kuzhambu, simple dal, etc. We love spreading the thogayal on toasts, wraps, and sandwiches too. Enjoy!!

No comments: