Pumpkin is a favourite choice for a Sunday morning breakfast for most Bengalis. Well, it used to be and still is in certain households. While cornflakes and oats have taken over the Indianbreakfast options, a Sunday binge is a welcome change. You must be wondering, pumpkin…breakfast…favourite? Well, yes and I will tell you how and why. This Bengali style stir-fry Pumpkin and Potatoes goes well with luchi (puris) or parathas for a leisurely Sunday brunch. It is very easy to make and a treat to the taste buds.
I remember, back in Asansol when my brother and I were school-going kids how we would relish our morning breakfast of pumpkin and potatoes on a chilly winter morning. At that time, serials like Ramayan or Mahabharat were a hot favourite across the country. We had a Bentex colour television set, so some of the neighbours from Apcar Gardens who either didn’t have a telly or had a black and white one, would drop by every Sunday morning to watch these serials.
My mom would dish out the most divine luchi and kumro’r checki (Stir fried Pumpkin and Potatoes) all cooked in Dalda Vanaspati. The generation of today will never know what good food cooked in Dalda taste like and thankfully for us, it’s a taste that will linger on for the rest of our lives! These have been some of the fondest memories of my childhood where the entire family would gather around to watch the most popular television show ever over pumpkin and puris.
- Pumpkin – 250gms, cubed or thick sliced
- Potato – 2-3 medium size peeled and cut in cubes
- Onion Seeds (kalonji) – 1 tsp
- Asafetida (Hing) – a pinch, optional
- Green chillies – 1-2 nos. slit
- Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
- Salt to taste
- Mustard oil – 1- 2 tbsp (you can use refined oil if you wish)
- Heat mustard oil until smoking hot and reduce flame.
- Drop the onion seeds, green chilli and hing and sauté for a minute.
- Add the cubed potatoes and fry until golden brown.
- Now add the cubed pumpkins and mix well.
- Add turmeric powder and give it a gentle stir.
- Cover and cook for a few minutes but checking occasionally to see that the veggies don’t stick to the bottom of the kadhai.
- Add salt at the end, give it a good mix and check if the potatoes are cooked. If they are, then switch off gas and transfer into a bowl.
- Do not over cook as pumpkin tends to cook quickly and tends to become mushy. So if the potatoes are cooked, that’s the time to turn off the gas.
- Serve hot with piping hot luchis (puris) or parathas.
You can also have this dish as an accompaniment along with daal and rice combination as well.