It’s time to celebrate Diwali, but this year in Seattle we are frankly a bit tired and stressed in the middle of a work week. With no official holiday time for Diwali, it’s just too much to make a feast for all our family. (Last year we went all out, and I published my mom’s recipe for carrot halwa along with other photos to celebrate Diwali.) We’re taking it a little easy this time around by making small, but I hope, still inspiring dishes like this Pumpkin Cashew Curry.
So with locally made, nostalgic sweets, some diyas, a curry or two, and our warm hearts, we wish you all out there a Happy Diwali!
For my Pumpkin Cashew Curry, I brought together our local and seasonal flavors with those that are traditionally Indian and festive. Cashews are known to make any Indian dish rich. You won’t believe how perfectly they went with fresh pumpkins. Give cashews a try with almost any kind of pumpkin or pumpkin-like squash you can find where you live. I’ve also been on a mission to cook pumpkins in as many ways as I can this season — already made a pie, a soup, and now this curry!
2 small sugar pumpkins, peeled and cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, grated
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tspn garam masala
1 tspn curry powder
1/2 tspn turmeric powder
1/2 tspn coriander powder
1/2 tspn red chili powder
a pinch of asafoetida powder (hing)
2 tspns brown sugar
salt to taste
1 medium tomato, diced small
4 cups water
1. Pick, wash, cut, core, and peel the pumpkins. Cut into small cubes.
2. Heat oil on medium heat. Add mustard seeds and let them sizzle for a minute.
3. Add the pinch of asafoetida powder (hing), garlic, and onions and let the onions brown a little.
4. Add pumpkin, the rest of the spices, and salt and stir it well.
5. Add the water and let it come to a boil, then turn the heat down and let it simmer till the sauce thickens.
6. Once the pumpkins are cooked, add the tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes, till the tomatoes disintegrate. Turn off the heat.
7. Toss a handful of cashews in a 1/2 teaspoon of ghee and let them toast on medium heat until they are slightly pinkish brown.
8. Plate the curry, sprinkle with toasted cashews, and serve right away with naan or rice.