As a little girl, I spent a lot of time standing outside my neighbor’s kitchen window. Not because I was trying to peek in or something but because the heady aromas of Bengali food that came out of their kitchen would make me stop in my tracks and just stand still for a few minutes inhaling all the wonderful smells. And my love and obsession for Bengali food began right there outside their kitchen window.
I loved everything she made, and one of my favorite vegetables that Aunty prepared was “Pumpkin & Potatoes fry” or “Aloo Kumro Tarkari” as the Bengali’s call it. A classic example of simple can be delicious, this stir fry of bright yellow Pumpkin and Potatoes in Nigella seeds made it a dish that became etched in my memory forever.
I often end up making it when I miss home and love to serve it with plain roti drizzled with a little Ghee, and it becomes a meal that I love and enjoy a lot. And of course, the best thing about making this dish is how easy and how little it takes to make it. All it has is Pumpkin, Potatoes, some green chillies and a few spices and done; you have a happy meal right there.
Recipe (Serves 4, cooking time 20 minutes)
450 gms Red Pumpkin chopped into small pieces
Two Potatoes cut in the same size as the Pumpkin
Three Green chilies slit
One tsp Fenugreek seeds
½ tsp Asafoetida
Salt to taste
One tsp Turmeric powder
½ tsp Sugar
½ tbsp Mustard or Vegetable Oil
One tsp Nigella seeds
Heat oil in the pan, If using Mustard oil let it come to smoking point before adding the Fenugreek seeds, Nigella seeds and Asafoetida.
Add the Potatoes and cook on a medium flame till they are almost done.
Add the Pumpkin & Green chillies, cover and cook till the Pumpkin is done.
Add the Salt, Turmeric powder and Sugar and cook for 5 minutes before turning off the heat.
Serve hot with rotis.