Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin - Khatta Meetha Kaddu

This last year when I got to spend a whole lot of time with Ammi (mom), I was reintroduced to pumpkin, a vegetable I loathed in savory preparations as a child and never quite embraced into adulthood. Infact, I was amazed at the voracity with which my siblings looked forward to the lunches that involved pumpkin.

Mom doesn't fail to remind me, how growing up it was always me who loathed most vegetables and misled other kids into believing the same. I obviously didn't set the best example as the eldest child.

Pumpkin was often served along side khichda, which is traditional Bohra concoction of wheat, meat and dals. You see, khichda was always the star, the pumpkin served as a side that never got it's due attention as we were too busy digging our tandoori roti into the lustrous khichda. 

In this recipe, the sweetness of the pumpkin is enhanced with a little bit of jaggery, balanced with the tang of tamarind while the sweet flesh absorbs the spices, making it the ultimate sweet, spicy and sour experience. An experience I wish I hadn't missed all these years.

Apart from serving with khichda and tandoori roti, it is served with poori (deep fried flatbread) or plain roti or naan. But is good with any kind of flatbread.

Khatta Meetha Kaddu - Sweet and Sour Pumpkin
Serves 2


2 tbsp mustard oil or any neutral vegetable oil
1 tsp black mustard seeds
1 tbsp ginger paste
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin powder
600gm pumpkin, peeled, chopped into 1 inch cubes*
Thumb size tamarind pulp (about 15g)
10g jaggery or 1 tbsp sugar
Salt to taste

Coriander leaves to garnish


* Any sweet and firm flesh pumpkin variety should work.


Heat oil in a saucepan and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the ginger paste followed by all the spices.

Add the chopped pumpkin and mix well so as to evenly coat them into the spices. Roast them for about a minute.

Add 1/2 up water and cover and  cook for 7-8 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked all way through.

Add the tamarind pulp and jaggery. Cook without cover for another minute.

Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with roti, puri, paratha or naan.


I like to keep this on drier side but if you wish to have more gravy, cut some of the cubes smaller so that they mash and become gravy like. Also add more or less water depending on the consistency you prefer.



  1. That fall dish looks really good! Sweet and sour dishes are wonderful.



  2. Beautiful as usual!
    Do you have any ideas for replacing tamarind if people can't find that?
    Thank you!

    1. Laura - lemon works too, so does aamchur powder (mango powder). Doesn't taste the same but still delicious.

  3. Thanks! I was thinking lemon, and maybe a bit of maple syrup for the sweet? I have Tamarind so will follow your recipe exactly. But I am sharing this recipe with others who may not. Thank you again!

    1. Pleasure. Maple will work except that you won't be able to detect any maple taste and might require a tad bit more of it depending on the sweetness of pumpkin itself. I hope you try and enjoy it :)

  4. This looks delicious Kulsum. I will give it a try. Thanks

  5. I don't think I've ever had pumpkin prepared desi style (in my house, kaddu is that big green squash looking thing). Um, can you tell I have also had a tumultuous history with vegetables? I'm trying to be better about them for Little Man's sake and am glad to hear from a former veggie hater that it's possible to like them :)

  6. One of my favorites with pooris & aloo jhol. I make it lots of amchoor, never tried tamarind. Love!

  7. Lovely!! The colours are so tempting and inviting!!

  8. This looks delicious. I really enjoy the sweet and savory dishes. South Indians have a lot of these curries and we love it.

  9. i have always been skeptical about pumpkin in savory dishes too but this one looks delicious - will have to try it sometime :)

  10. This looks so good! I love pumpkin curries (especially with tamarind!) and also love adding them to stir-fries. Yum :-)

  11. i'm not sold on pumpkin, savory or sweet. would i be able to use squash (butternut or acorn) instead?

    i'm so intrigued by the use of tamarind in this dish!

    1. Sure you can! Just adjust the sweetness after adding the tamarind to your liking depending on what squash you use :)

  12. I miss my mom's kaddu recipe. This looks so comforting, being sweet and sour :)

  13. This is how my MIL makes kaddu and EVERYONE loves it. My dad after tasting this at her place must have asked me a million times if I learnt how to make it or not. To be honest I've tried multiple times but never comes like her. Now I have a proper recipe to follow. Will share once I try it. If I succeed I'm gonna thank you for helping me win a huge battle ;-)

  14. Mmmm I love the pumping here, even in season I don't cook with it enough. Thanks for the recipe, girl! :)

  15. styled and pictured so well kulsum. i make in a similar way.

  16. That sounds delicious, good thing I have a plentiful supply of pumpkins waiting to be put to good use!

  17. I am a huge fan of pumpkins, have always been and can eat every day. Boiled, fried, mashed, anyway you give me, I will eat it! My fav dish with pumpkin is a typical Bengali dish made with fish head ( it may sound eeww to you, but you Bengalis and their love for fish :) ) Your version sounds equally delicious. I am so gonna try it soon.

  18. I only recently had pumpkin, in salad form, and it was delicious. This looks even better. What a great recipe! Thanks for sharing.

  19. One of my favourite ways to eat pumpkin! I also make pumpkin with fenugreek seeds and a bit of green chili. So delicious! Thanks for reminding me to cut my huge pumpkin I have sitting around and make this dish!

  20. Wow! Not only delicious blend of flavors but the golden color of the pumpkin makes a great presentation. Wonderfully different way to serve pumpkin. Everyone raved and thought I slaved over the dish but who am I to tell how easy it was to prepare?

  21. Wow! Not only delicious blend of flavors but the golden color of the pumpkin makes a great presentation. Wonderfully different way to serve pumpkin. Everyone raved and thought I slaved over the dish but who am I to tell how easy it was to prepare?

    Irene Dallas Fort Worth Knee Doctor DFW Spine & Joint


Blog Design Created by pipdig