This Indian pumpkin curry is a delicious and healthy vegetable curry that can be made in less than 30 minutes for a weeknight dinner. Vegan & gluten-free!
I have shared an instant pot pumpkin curry recipe before; this time, I am sharing a mashed pumpkin curry. This is a Punjabi-style pumpkin curry, also called pethe ki sabzi (petha is pumpkin in Punjabi).
This is like curried mashed pumpkin, which would be an excellent side for the Thanksgiving meal. If you like pumpkin, it is going to be a favorite for sure, just like roasted pumpkin soup!
It is a sweet and spicy pumpkin curry recipe. It has the sweetness of the pumpkin, the spiciness of the Indian spices, and the tanginess of the dry mango powder or lime juice.
Some people call this curry Pumpkin Bharta, or Kaddu ka bharta, an apt name, as it is mashed similar to baingan bharta.
Traditionally this curry is made with red pumpkin. However, you can also use kabocha squash or butternut squash to make this easy pumpkin curry. Enjoy it with paratha or naan, or even better with poori.
Another way I have been using all the pumpkins is by making pumpkin puree, which can be used in a variety of dishes. I have used it in pancakes, parathas, and pies already.
And if you want to try a Thai version, check out this Thai pumpkin red curry or curried butternut squash soup made in an instant pot. Or air fryer roasted pumpkin and pumpkin feta salad as a wonderful Fall side dish.
Don't throw away the pumpkin seeds, and make these crunchy, delicious roasted pumpkin seeds in the air fryer or oven.
Health benefits of pumpkin
The bright orange color of the pumpkin means that it is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene offers protection against diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging.
Pumpkins also have loads of fiber, and they are low in calories. Hence they are a great way to include fiber-rich vegetables in your diet or to add to a low-carb/keto diet.
Want more Vegan Recipes? Check out this collection of 65+ Vegan Indian Recipes.
How to Make?
This is an easy recipe that can be made on the stovetop or in a pressure cooker.
The hardest part is peeling and cutting the pumpkin. You don't have to cut very small pieces as after cooking, we will mash the pumpkin.
I like to cook this curry in ghee. It adds tremendously to the taste. You can also make ghee at home in the instant pot; see the recipe here. To keep this curry vegan, use your favorite plant-based oil.
Start by heating a large pan on medium-high heat. Add ghee, and then sauté cumin seeds, chilies, onion, ginger, and garlic. After the onions have softened, add tomato and spices. Stir well.
Now add the pumpkin pieces and some water. Give it a quick stir.
Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes on medium heat, stirring in between.
Check that the pumpkin is softened by mashing a piece.
Then add the garam masala, amchur powder (dry mango powder), and sugar (or jaggery) and mix well.
You can enjoy the pumpkin curry as is with chunks or mash it using a potato masher.
Garnish with cilantro and enjoy with roti or paratha.
Pressure Cooker Method
Follow the same steps as above. After adding the pumpkin, spices, and water, pressure cook for 2-3 whistles on medium-high heat.
If using an instant pot, pressure cook for 4 minutes on high pressure.
Then follow the steps to mash the pumpkin. If there is any residual water, which may happen depending on the pumpkin, you can change to saute mode and cook for a couple of minutes.
Garnish with cilantro leaves, and enjoy!
- If the pumpkin is not as sweet, add some sugar, which is completely optional.
- You can eat the pumpkin curry as is, or you can mash some pieces using a masher. Both ways taste great, in my opinion.
- Do not skip adding the amchur powder (or lime juice). This adds a wonderful tangy flavor to the curry.
What to pair with pumpkin curry?
- Enjoy with parathas (Indian flatbread) or naan.
- A side of yogurt or raita goes great with this curry.
- A light lentil soup (moong dal - yellow or green) or Chana Dal.
Enjoy this easy and delicious Pumpkin Curry.
More Indian curry recipes you will love:
Indian Pumpkin Curry (Kaddu ka bharta)
- 600 grams Pumpkin about 4 cups, peeled and cut pieces
- 1 tablespoon Ghee or Oil
- 1 teaspoon Cumin seeds (Jeera)
- 1 Green Chili Pepper diced, optional
- ½ tablespoon Ginger grated
- ½ tablespoon Garlic minced
- 1 cup Onion diced
- 1 cup Tomato chopped
- ¼ cup Water
- ½ teaspoon Garam Masala
- 1 teaspoon Dry Mango powder (Amchur) or lime juice
- ½ teaspoon Sugar or crushed jaggery, adjust to taste
- Cilantro leaves to garnish
- ¼ teaspoon Ground Turmeric (Haldi powder)
- 2 teaspoon Coriander powder (Dhaniya powder)
- ¼ teaspoon Red Chili powder (Mirchi powder) adjust to taste
- 1 teaspoon Salt adjust to taste
- Start with heating a large pan (or kadhai) on medium-high heat. Add oil to it.
- Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle. Then add green chili, onions, ginger and garlic and saute for 3-4 minutes minutes until the onions soften.
- Then add tomatoes and spices. Stir them well and let the tomatoes soften for 2-3 minutes.
- Add cut pumpkin pieces and water. Mix well. Cover and cook for 10-15 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked through. Check that the pumpkin is softened by mashing a piece.
- Add garam masala, dry mango powder, sugar and mix with the pumpkin. You can eat this curry as is with some chunks or mash the cooked pumpkin pieces with a masher in the pot.
- Garnish with cilantro and pumpkin curry is ready to be enjoyed with parathas or naan.
Pressure Cooker Method
- Follow the same steps as above. After adding the pumpkin, spices and water, pressure cook for 2-3 whistles on medium-high heat. If using an instant pot, pressure cook for 4 minutes on high pressure. Then follow the steps to mash the pumpkin.
- If there is any residual water after pressure cooking, which may happen depending on the pumpkin, you can change to saute mode and cook for couple of minutes. Garnish with cilantro leaves and enjoy!
- If the pumpkin is not as sweet, then you can add some sugar or jaggery powder, but this is completely optional.
- You can choose to eat the pumpkin curry as is with some chunks or you can mash using a masher. Both ways tastes great in my opinion.
Note: Nutrition values are my best estimates. If you rely on them for your diet, use your preferred nutrition calculator.
This might be a dumb question, but will this recipe work if you use pureed canned pumpkin? In the winter where I live I cannot find fresh pumpkin.
Meeta Arora says
Hi Cleo - Sorry, I have never tried this with canned pumpkin, so cannot say for sure f it will work well. Would love to hear if you give it a try!
I used 50% water and 50% coconut milk; also delicious!
Meeta Arora says
Hi Casey - Happy to hear you enjoyed the pumpkin curry!
It's such a delicious and comforting dish, like a hug in my tummy!
Piping Pot Curry says
Hi Cara - So good to hear that 🙂