Kumbalakai Palya

The Yellow Indian Pumpkins are one of those vegetables that grows like weeds back home in Karnataka. There was a time when most of our backyards had at least one Pumpkin creeper that we would scoff at the idea of having to buy them in the market. My grandmother probably would still not agree with the idea of buying pumpkins!! It used to so happen that these giant vegetables were just too much to be used up for a meal or two. Therefore sharing was the name of the game. If we had a Pumpkin in our creeper today then the entire block would be cooking Pumpkin. Same if our neighbour harvested Pumpkin from their backyard the next week. Food was all about sharing right. Now towns like Bangalore and Mysore have grown beyond recognition. As far as me, I am still in the time shell that was my childhood, when air at this time of the year was permeated with the aromas of Mangoes and Jackfruits not burnt out gasoline!!! None of my family members have a back yard these days. My grandparents got their backyard paved with concrete because there was not enough sunlight in the backyard, (thanks to the matchbox-over-matchbox concrete construction around their home in Bangalore!!) and nothing would grow there anymore. It is now my dream to have a large backyard and all sort of fresh vegetables flourishing there.
Coming back to Pumpkins, we did not get these in the Indian stores when we lived in Connecticut. But here in New Jersey, it is different. We get all sort of vegetables. I only hope we do end up getting raw Jackfruit and plenty of Indian mangoes...

We will need,

Yellow Pumpkin          1 lb cubed
Coconut                      3 tbsp (yes be generous)
Green Chillies               6-7
Peanut Oil                    1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds             1/2 tsp
Hing                             a dash
Cumin Seeds                1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves                a handful
Salt

Method:
  • Heat oil in a Wok. Toss in the Mustard, Cumin, Hing and curry leaves.
  • Once they crackle, drop the slit green chillies. Once they pop, drop in the cubed pumpkin and coconut.
  • Sprinkle a scant 1/4 cup of water, cover and cook till the pumpkin is soft. They cook pretty fast. So keep a close eye on them. Adjust Salt.
  • Serve them with Akki Rotti. 

    10 comments:

    Madhu said...

    Simple and taste palya, beautiful color,Smitha.

    Leena said...

    OMG this my favourite palya...thanks for sharing dear...

    Cicily Antony said...

    looking yummy...

    R Sudhir Kumar said...

    Well Written, as always. Hope some point of time we have our own green patch, growing potatoes and tomatoes.

    Sush said...

    kumbala kayi palya & ragi rotti is my fav. Well said Smitha.. Since my mom is far away from Bangalore, she has her very own patch of small garden where she grows variety of vegetables & flowers :)

    Suja Sugathan said...

    Looks simple and yummy..love Kannada cuisine

    Kannada Cuisine said...

    Thanks Madhu, Leena, Cicily and suja!!
    @Sudhir!! As always you are being generous :) Yeah! fingers crossed about the vegetable patch

    @Sush..I should say your mom is indeed lucky! How much I wish to my own Veggie patch

    Nisha said...

    So true vegetables grown in backyard was always shared with neighbors and friends when we were growing up.

    Fathima said...

    love the lovely yello color of the palya...

    Rachana Kothari said...

    This dish looks so delicious...