pumpkin curry

Pumpkin Curry Recipe

By Swasthi on April 29, 2023, Comments, Jump to Recipe

This Pumpkin Curry is simply the best with full flavors and deliciousness! An easy one-pot dish layered with so many fabulous flavors from pumpkin, spices, onions, tomatoes, herbs, coconut or almonds (optional). This Homestyle Pumpkin Curry is healthy, comforting and a go-to meat-free dish. It goes well over hot steamed rice, quinoa, and millets. Pumpkin curry can also be eaten with Poori, Chapati/ roti, Paratha, Butter Naan or other kinds of flatbreads or even with Dosas & bread. It is Vegan & Gluten-free!

Pumpkin curry

About Pumpkin Curry

This Pumpkin Curry is made in Indian style, where diced pumpkin is simmered in a curry base made with chopped onions, tomatoes, garam masala, cumin and other pantry staples. Various whole and ground spices compliment the earthy sweet flavor of pumpkin.

Coconut milk or almond milk is optionally used to enhance the nutty flavor and sweet notes of the dish.

This is a South & North Indian fusion recipe, so you will find ingredients from both South & North Indian cuisines. The original recipe from my Mom has been tweaked, resulting in an extremely flavorful and delicious curry.

Originally Black Chickpeas also known as Kala Chana were added to this pumpkin kurma curry, which imparts a nutty and earthy flavor to the dish. However you may add some marinated and pan-fried tofu or Black eyed peas or white chickpeas just like the way I did.

You can refer to this Tofu Curry recipe to marinate & pan-fry the tofu first. Add the tofu cubes towards the end, before finishing the dish.

Fresh coconut paste is another ingredient that went into this traditional dish, which can be replaced with coconut milk or almond milk. You may simply leave out as well. But I prefer to use almond milk which I make by grinding almond flour (or almonds) with little water. If canned coconut milk fits into your diet, you may use that as well.

The combination of spices is what makes this pumpkin curry taste so good, so I would suggest using all the spices if possible, including the whole spices. I have more details in the pro tips section below.

More Pumpkin Recipes
Kaddu ki Sabzi
Pumpkin pulusu
Dal Pumpkin
Pumkin halwa
Pumpkin kheer

Indian pumpkin curry

How to Make Pumpkin Curry (Stepwise Photos)


1. For this recipe, you will need about 350 grams pumpkin (12 ounces), about 2 ½ to 3 cups. A little more or less is just fine. I use precut diced pumpkin from the stores for convenience. I have also used 1 cup prepared chickpeas (soaked overnight & boiled until tender). You may use canned chickpeas, drain the liquid and rinse them well. You can also leave out the chickpeas if you want.

diced pumpkin and chickpeas

2. You will need

  • 1 ¼ cup fine chopped onions (1 large or 2 medium onions)
  • 1 ¼ cup deseeded and chopped tomatoes (or 1 cup puree)
  • 1 green chilli (chopped, deseed for low heat, optional)
  • ½ tablespoon grated ginger or paste (½ inch peeled)
  • ½ tablespoon grated garlic (or paste, 4 to 5 cloves)

3. Spices you need: Feel free to leave out the whole spices if you don’t have

  • 1 bay leaf or 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 inch cinnamon piece (or ½ inch cassia)
  • 1 star anise

4. Measure the ground spices and keep aside as you won’t have much time to do that while you cook.

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Kashmiri Red chilli powder (adjust to taste, I use 2 tsps)
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder (leave it, if you don’t have)
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Make Pumpkin Curry

5. Pour 3 tablespoons oil to a pan and heat it. Add the bay leaf, cinnamon and star anise.

6. When they begin to sizzle, add the chopped onions and green chilies. Rise the heat to medium high and stir fry until deep golden. If required switch between low & medium flame/heat. This step takes about 6 to 7 mins.

7. Lower the heat and stir in the ginger garlic. Mix and saute for a minute or so without burning.

8. Quickly add all the ground spices and salt.

9. Mix well.

10. Add the pumpkin and then the tomatoes.

11. Stir fry for 2 to 3 minutes on a medium heat.

12. Cover and cook on a medium to low heat until the tomatoes break down. This step takes about 5 to 6 mins. Meanwhile bring 1 cup water to a boil in another small pot.

13. Pour 1 cup hot water and add boiled chickpeas (if using). Pour ¾ cup Coconut or almond milk. To make the almond milk, I grind 4 tablespoons almond flour with ¼ cup water until smooth. Then add ¼ cup more water and then grind again.

14. Increase the flame/heat and bring the curry to a rolling boil. Reduce the heat and cover. Cook until the pumpkin is fork tender and about to get mushy. As you cook, if required add more boiling hot water. This depends on the kind of your pumpkin. I had to add another ½ cup hot water.

15. Stir well and taste test. Add the following ingredients according to your taste:

  • ½ teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon kasuri methi
  • ½ to 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery (or brown sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon amchur (or tamarind paste). Crush the kasuri methi before adding to the curry.

16. Mix well. Curry should be thick, yet of pouring consistency. It will thicken further after cooling. If your curry is runny, cook uncovered on a high heat for a few minutes so some of the liquid evaporates.

17. Turn off the heat. If you want you may add a teaspoon/ tablespoon of ghee. Garnish pumpkin curry with fresh chopped coriander leaves. If you want you may squeeze in some lemon juice while serving.

Serve Pumpkin Curry with hot steamed rice, quinoa, millets, roti or Paratha.

Pumpkin curry recipe

Pro Tips

Tomatoes: You can use fresh tomatoes or tomato puree (passata). If using canned tomatoes that has citric acid added to it, your pumpkin will take longer to cook down or may take forever. So it is good to add it later once the pumpkin is nearly tender.

Onions: If you do not prefer onions, you may leave out from the recipe. But if using, make sure you saute them well until deep golden as this not only enhances the flavor of the dish, but the onions will also dissolve in the curry giving a better texture to the dish.

Coconut: If you have access to fresh coconut, you may grind 1/3 cup fresh coconut with 1/3 cup water until very smooth, adding more water as required. Do not use desiccated coconut. Too much coconut milk is going to dilute the flavor of spices and your dish will only taste like coconut milk.


Bay Leaf: Please avoid using very old bay leaf as sometimes it gives a bitter taste to the dish. You may skip it if you do not have fresh stock. You can also use curry leaves if you have.

Star Anise: is a very fragrant spice & is also known as Biryani flower. It adds a natural sweet-liquorice peppery flavour. It imparts a floral aroma which is not very overpowering but some people can’t get over this scent. Feel free to leave out if you do not like. But I feel star anise together with cinnamon infuses great flavors to the diced pumpkin.

Amchur or Tamarind Paste: Amchur is dried mango powder. It has a fruity and tangy flavor. If it is not available, you may use Indian tamarind or tamarind paste. This is sour in taste and not sweet like the Thai tamarind. If you don’t have both, simply, leave out and squeeze lemon juice while serving.

Red Chilli Powder is pure chilli powder. For this recipe I use Kashmiri chilli powder (Labelled as Kashmirilal). If using any other chilli powder, start with lesser quantity (about ¾ tsp) as the strength/heat varies.

Related Recipes

Recipe Card

pumpkin curry recipe

Pumpkin Curry Recipe

This Indian Pumpkin Curry is delicious, flavorful and easy to make. Serve it over rice or with roti, poori, naan or any flatbreads, bread or with dosa.
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 350 grams pumpkin (12 ounces, about 2 ½ to 3 cups diced)
  • 1 cup chickpeas (cooked or canned or rajma, read notes, optional)
  • 1 ¼ cup onions (fine chopped, 1 large onion)
  • 1 ¼ cup tomatoes (deseeded & fine chopped, 2 large or 1 cup tomato puree)
  • 1 green chilli (optional, Chopped, Indian/Thai or Serrano peppers)
  • ½ tablespoon ginger paste or grated (½ inch peeled & grated)
  • ½ tablespoon garlic paste (4 to 5 grated cloves)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 to 1 ½ teaspoon salt (½ + 1 tsp, divided)
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups hot water (add in batches)
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (or 4 tablespoons almond flour blend with ½ cup water)
  • ¼ cup coriander leaves (fine chopped)

Ground Spices

  • 1 to 2 teaspoons Kashmiri Red chilli powder (adjust to taste, I use 2 tsps)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon garam masala (1 + ½ tsp, divided)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 ½ teaspoons coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon fennel powder (leave it, if you don’t have)
  • 1 tablespoon Kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves, leave it, if you don’t have)
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon amchur powder (or tamarind paste or lemon juice, adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery (or brown sugar, optional, to balance the flavors)

Whole Spices (optional)

  • 1 Indian bay leaf or 1 sprig curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 inch cinnamon piece (or ½ inch cassia, optional)
  • 1 star anise (optional)


How to Make Pumpkin Curry

  • Heat a pot with oil and add bay leaf, cinnamon and star anise.
  • When they begin to sizzle in the oil, add onions and green chilies.
  • Stir fry them until deep golden, switching between medium to low flames & vice versa as required.
  • Lower the flame, add ginger garlic and saute for about a minute, until the raw smell has gone.
  • Stir in ½ tsp salt and ground spices – red chilli powder, 1 teaspoon garam masala, cumin powder, coriander powder, turmeric and fennel powder.
  • Quickly add the pumpkin and mix well. Stir in the tomatoes and stir fry for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Cover and cook on a medium to low flame until the tomatoes turn mushy. This takes about 5 to 7 mins.
  • Pour 1 cup hot water and add chickpeas (if using). Pour Coconut or almond milk.
  • Rise the flame and bring the curry to a rolling boil. Reduce the flame and cook covered until the pumpkin is fork tender and about to get mushy. As you cook, if required add more boiling hot water, this depends on your pumpkin. I had to add another ½ cup hot water.
  • Mix well and taste test. Add the following ingredients according to taste – ½ to 1 teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon garam masala, kasuri methi, jaggery (sugar) and amchur (or tamarind paste). Crush the kasuri methi before adding to the pan.
  • Pumpkin curry should be thick, yet of pouring consistency as it thickens further after cooling. If your curry is runny, cook uncovered on a high heat for a few minutes so some of the liquid evaporates.
  • Turn off and rest the pumpkin curry covered until serving. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves. If you want you may squeeze in some lemon juice while serving.
  • Serve with Poori, Roti, Paratha, Naan, plain steamed rice, quinoa or millets.


  1. To save time, chop the onions and begin with the recipe. Prepare the rest as you cook.
  2. You may skip the whole spices if you don’t have but they impart  unique deep flavors to the dish.
  3. If using canned chickpeas, rinse them well and make sure they are soft and tender before adding to the curry. Undercooked chickpeas won’t cook further in the curry due to the acidic ingredient like tomato.
  4. To use dry chickpeas, rinse and soak 1/3 cup chickpeas overnight. The next morning pressure cook them with 1/2 cup water in a instant pot for 18 minutes or in the stove top cooker for 3 whistles.
  5. You can use black chickpeas or even rajma if you like the flavor.
  6. To replace coconut milk, grind together 4 tablespoons of almond flour (or 12 to 14 soaked and peeled almonds) with 1/4 cup water until smooth. Add another 1/4 cup water and grind again.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.


Watch Pumpkin Curry Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Pumpkin Curry Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 190 Calories from Fat 99
% Daily Value*
Fat 11g17%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 19mg6%
Sodium 401mg17%
Potassium 738mg21%
Carbohydrates 22g7%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 7685IU154%
Vitamin C 115mg139%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 3mg17%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Pumpkin Curry Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Wow! This is fantastic! I didn’t have pumpkin, so I used acorn squash. It was a very late dinner, and I was hungrier than usual. There’s enough left for tomorrow! Your recipes never disappoint.

5 stars
Oh my goodness…this is SO delicious! I used followed it exactly and used all the spices suggested. It is to die for!

5 stars
Fantastic recipe, will definitely be a repeat recipe during squash season! Served to guests and they were very impressed. The clear instructions were great and the finished curry was fragrant, delicious and very beautiful, especially with the black chickpeas dotted throughout. Thanks!

Having grown lots of pumpkins on the allotment, I was pleased to find this recipe for pumpkin curry. It was very good – and I’ve frozen half for another meal sometime.

Swasthi, excellent recipe. During this fall season here in America, the markets are flooded with various types of pumpkins. They are all over the place. Unfortunately, not many people use them in cooking except for making pies. I remember in Andhra instead of whole chickpeas, split chickpeas (senaga pappu) is also used. Am I correct? Thanks for the great work you are doing.

5 stars
This is a fantastic recipe. Made 3x for a family meal and everyone loved it. Both my sisters asked me to pack the leftovers. It specially went very well with ghee rice. Thank you. Love your recipes. Please keep up the great work.

5 stars
I was a bit sceptical while making this, as it seemed quite different to your usual recipes. But it turned out excellent as always, restaurant quality. I happened to have some almond flour so used that; a surprisingly easy way to thicken the curry. My slight recipe variations were butternut squash instead of pumpkin (quite similar anyway) and asam jawa for the sourness.

5 stars
Thank you Swasthi for your pumpkin recipe. I cooked per you method, it’s delicious and I feel that I bought this dish from a 5 star Indian resy. Thank you again ❤️

Hi Swasthi, question for you. Recently I saw tender ash pumpkin (boodida gummidi kaya) cut sections in one of the largest Indian grocery store here. I am not sure what to do with that. I don’t believe that it is useful for making “vadiyalu”. The skin is still green and there is no ash coating on it. If you have any ideas about using this type of vegetable, please let me know. Next time when I go there I will pick up a piece and try. I am just curious. Of course one can make sambar or dal using this. But just wondering if anything else can be done with this veggie. Thanks

5 stars
Turned out very yummy. I totally loved it. I use your website for every time I need to cook something for the 1st time and it never went wrong. I can’t thank you enough. Bless you!

5 stars
Thank you so much sister for this wonderful recipe… 🥰🥰

Did something happen with the steps-by-step photos? I can’t see any!

Love your recipes ❤️ Thank you for sharing them.

Swasthi, second time I have cooked this and it is lovely – made it with the carrot and bean poriyals. Used coconut milk this time, last time with coconut pieces (frozen) and very happy with both – a keeper 🙂

I tried out your Pumpkin curry recipe, Swasthi and my husband and kids quite liked it. Thanks for sharing such a wonderful recipe.

5 stars
Love pumpkin in all forms and am grateful for this recipe!
I’m not sure if it is always like that but I made it yesterday and today it tastes even better, the sharp chilly taste is not dominating… Or may it be that my western taste buds are not used to very strong chilly-spices yet ?
Glove and cardamom are also good companions for pumpkin. If I’d like to add some to experiment next time, what amounts would you suggest to use?
Thank you ?

Yes, sure it was helpful. Thank you! I did with additional spices with amounts that you suggested and it was very nice. Just the 1 inch cinnamon was probably too big in diameter and the taste was very strong. If I use ground cinnamon instead of stick then would it be around 1 level tsp? Thank you in advance ?

5 stars

Am going to try this. Looks easy enough?

5 stars
I have never cooked pumpkin before so I tried to look online for a recipe and found yours. I like the telugu taste palate so I tried out your recipe. It turned out exceptionally well! Everything I was hoping for! Thanks a lot for sharing your recipe explaining so well!

5 stars
Clear, we’ll described, in a step by step process and with fine pictures. Thank you from a non-Indian for your help in making us appreciate Indian food!!

5 stars
Tried out the Pumpkin curry. It was simply delicious. Thanks Swasthi

5 stars
This dish is the kind of delicious that has everyone asking for more, but it’s so easy we can just relax & enjoy in the kitchen. I make it every time I have pumpkin. Even with sweet potato it comes out good. Thank you for a favourite recipe! <3