Kodha Nu Shaak/ Pumpkin Stir Fry
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KODHA NU SHAAK/ PUMPKIN STIR FRY
Kodha Nu Shaak/ Pumpkin Stir Fry is a simple, but very flavourful way of preparing an easy side dish or sabji, Gujarati style. Served hot with some roti or paratha and a dal it is a complete meal.
What is Pumpkin?
Though we all call pumpkin a vegetable, in reality it is a fruit. Yes, a fruit. It’s the seed bearing structure of the plant. It is categorized as a vegetable as it’s sweet and usually used cooked. Pumpkin belongs to the gourd family, Cucurbitaceae, same as melons, cucumber, gourds and squashes.
Why you should include Pumpkin in your diet?
- Did you know that pumpkin is full of Vitamin A. Its an excellent source of beta carotene.
- Rich in potassium and Vitamin C, making it an ideal for good healthy heart.
- Its low on fat and calories, making it an ideal vegetable or rather fruit to include in a weight loss diet.
- Pumpkin is a good source of dietary fiber. The fiber keeps you full for a longer time and is good for the digestive system.
- Trytophan is an amino acid which gets converted to serotonin, which in turn induces sleep. Therefore if you suffer from insomnia, pumpkin is a rich source of tryptophan. Enjoy pumpkin at night and you will sleep better.
- Good for diabetics as its helps to regulate blood sugar levels.
Some Ideas How To Include Pumpkin In Your Diet
Pumpkin and banana are used to make these Pumpkin Banana Bread Muffins, perfect for teatime or breakfast too.
Homemade Pumpkin Spice Latte is my favorite beverage to enjoy in the evenings.
Sweetish Italian Pumpkin Bread tastes really good with tea or coffee.
Enjoy a Spicy Pumpkin Yeast Bread for breakfast or tea.
Roasted Pumpkin and Salsa Soup is my favoruite.
Keto Pumpkin Mousse – a perfect dessert for diabetics.
Renu’s Wholewheat Pumpkin Waffles are a must try when I buy a waffle iron but till then am sure I can adapt the recipe to make pancakes.
Pumpkin and Fall
Pumpkins are widely used in USA and Canada during Halloween and Thanks giving day. Pumpkins are harvested in October and used for making breads, desserts, side dishes, cakes, muffins, soup, etc. The list is endless.
During my first visit to Canada which was in Fall, we saw numerous pumpkins placed outside on the porch, on window sills and in the garden. The sizes ranged from tiny ones to gigantic ones all carved with candles in them. Its a beautiful sight in the evenings. I had the opportunity to enjoy a spicy pumpkin bread with coffee and it tasted heavenly.
Suddenly pumpkins and different squashes appear in the market and disappear just as fast, well at least where I am at present, Magog. I didn’t get the opportunity to redo most of my pumpkin recipes but perhaps next year.
But at least got a small pumpkin and made Kodha Nu Shaak, Gujarati style just like the way my mum use to make. Pumpkin in Gujarati is called Kodhu.
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Whenever I see a pumpkin it is a reminder of the time my mum got heard with a knife while peeling the pumpkin.
Recipe was first published on 27/03/2013. Updated on 12/11/2021
Mum’s Kodha Nu Shaak/ Pumpkin Stir Fry
Whenever my Grandfather would bring back a huge pumpkin from his friend’s farm, my mum would always make kodha nu shaak. Using simple spices, she would prepare a super delicious shaak or side dish and serve it with hot phulkas (rotis).
I remember when one day I was helping her to scoop out the seeds from the pumpkin, the big knife slipped and the pointed part went into her wrist. I was in a panic mode and no one else besides my siblings were at home. Luckily the knife missed her vein. She quickly told me bring some turmeric powder, cotton wool and a bandage.
She dabbed the turmeric powder on the wound and we helped her to tie the bandage. And it was back to trying to peel the hard skin of the pumpkin! Imagine, no fuss, no complains and she went back to making sure she gets food on the table for her family. Fortunately the knife was not too sharp otherwise she would have required stitches.
So here is the recipe for the simplest side dish, shaak or sabji and the yummiest. The slight sweetness of the pumpkin is balanced with a bit of lemon juice and the fresh chillis. One can easily enjoy kodha nu shaak during Ekadashi or Navratri Fasting, just don’t add the turmeric powder and use sendha namak (rock salt).
Can also serve it as a side dish for Thanks Giving dinner or lunch.
INGREDIENTS REQUIRED FOR KODHA NU SHAAK/ PUMPKIN STIR FRY
KODHA NU SHAAK/ PUMPKIN STIR FRY
- 4 cups pumpkin cubes approx 700g after removing the skin
- 3 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 1 - 2 chillis sliced
- 1 tsp ginger paste
- 1½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder optional
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
- Heat the oil in a wide pan over medium heat.
- When it is hot, add cumin seeds.
- Add chopped chillis and ginger and fry for a few seconds.
- Add turmeric powder if the pumpkin is pale in colour. If it is deep orange then there is no need to add it.
- Add the pumpkin cubes and salt.
- Mix well and cover the pan. Lower the heat and let it cook till it is just done.
- Keep and eye on it as you don't want to pumpkin to overcook.
- Mix in the lemon juice and garnish with fresh chopped coriander and serve with hot rotlis or parathas.
- I used fresh red chilli to make the sabji appear colourful.
- Can use thinly sliced ginger if you like.
- Add 2 tbsps of water if the pumpkin takes too long to cook.
- If you are not serving the sabji immediately, take the cover off and cover it with a net cover. You don't want mushy pumpkin. Heat it up before serving.
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