This Karnataka style Roasted Pumpkin sambar is slightly sweet, creamy and absolutely delicious. Serve with steamed rice and a veggie side for a comforting meal.
For the second day of this week’s BM under ‘regional side dishes’ theme, I made this delicious Pumpkin sambar, Karnataka style. Pumpkin can be substituted with butternut squash or kabocha squash. Since pumpkin is inherently sweet, this sambar is slightly sweet and spicy with the addition of sambar powder.Each South Indian family makes sambar a different way, so there might be a million versions for this one dish. This Karnataka version is from the cookbook ‘Vibrant India’ by Chitra Agarwal. It is an amazing book with delicious vegetarian recipes using ingredients easily available in the U.S.Pumpkin/ squash is roasted until lightly browned. The interesting part of the recipe is the grinding the roasted pumpkin with fresh grated coconut and sambar powder. This gives the dish creaminess and slight sweetness. In the original recipe all of the roasted squash to a paste, but I reserved half to give texture to the sambar.
Serve the sambar with steamed rice, idli or dosa. I made this for our weekend lunch along with cabbage poriyal and Bombay Aloo.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Combine squash with oil and salt; spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake for 20~25 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
While the squash is in the oven, cook the lentil/ dal until very soft and mushy.
Grind coconut along with sambar powder into a coarse paste. Add half of the roasted squash and grind to a smooth paste.
Heat ghee in a saucepan, add the mustard seeds and once they pop, add asafoetida/ hing and cook for few seconds. Add the curry leaves and scallion; saute till they turn soft.
Stir in the coconut paste, cooked lentils, reserved roasted squash, jaggery/ coconut sugar and salt. Simmer on medium flame, for 8~10 minutes until the flavors meld. Finally stir in the lemon juice and turn off the flame. Serve warm with rice and a curry.