G for Gummadikaya Pulusu:- Famous and favorite Andhra Specialty
My dad use to grow pumpkins in our backyard. At one time (this was around 10 yrs back) the whole backyard and even the roof ( daba we call in telugu) was covered with pumpkin vines, and covered with pumpkins all over, my mom made different varieties ( mostly South Indian). We gave so many to our neighbors, friends and relatives and still pumpkins were all over. This was the magic of simple seed. The seeds do not germinate in cold soil, and the seedlings are injured by frost. Do not plant until all danger of frost has passed, and the soil has thoroughly warmed. Indian weather conditions suits really well for this wonderful squash. I learnt this delicious recipe from my Vasu Atta (NY), When she makes this the aroma fills all over the house and every one waits to dig in.
Gummadikaya pulusu, (AKA) pumpkin (stew) in Telugu, is a squash usually orange in colour when ripe. There are also in greenish gray, white, bright yellow and sometime red in color. Indian pumpkins are often greenish gray in color. The pumpkin varies greatly in form, being sometimes nearly circular, but more generally oblong or ovoid (shaped like an egg) in shape. The bright orange color of pumpkin is a dead giveaway that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.
Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging. (Source univ of IL extn)
Do you know this fact?
The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for “large melon” which is “pepon.” “Pepon” was nasalized by the French into “pompon.” The English changed “pompon” to “Pumpion.” Shakespeare referred to the “pumpion” in his Merry Wives of Windsor. American colonists changed “pumpion” into “pumpkin.” The “pumpkin” is referred to in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater and Cinderella
1 small pumpkin / butternut squash(around 2 cups)
1 medium yellow onion (sliced)
2-3 green chillies (slit)
1 inch ginger (peel and chop)
4-5 tbsp tamarind pulp
Jaggery (2-3 tbsp approx)
Salt to taste
2-3 cups Water (to make pulusu)
1 dried whole red chilli (broken)
1 tsp channa dal
1 tsp urad dal
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tsp mustard seeds
Big pinch of hing
1/4th tsp turmeric
2 tbsp oil
Peel, clean, remove the seeds from gummadikaya and dice (medium size).
Heat the oil in a deep skillet on medium heat and add first 3 in the seasoning row (channa dal, urad dal, red chilli) and fry , add cumin and mustard seeds once the dals starts turning into golden brown and allow them to crackle, add hing and sauté for 1-2 minutes. Now add green chillies, curry leaves, ginger, turmeric and sauté for couple of minutes, now add sliced onions and fry till translucent. Add the diced gummadikaya salt, jaggery, tamarind (3-4 tbsp) and cook for 3-5 minutes. Stir in water (1 ½ -2 cups) and reduce the heat to medium low and cook for 10-12 minutes the covered. Keep stirring in middle. At this point the veggies will be 3/4 th cooked. At this stage adjust the seasoning if needed and water if the stew is thick. Cook for another 5-8 minutes or till done and turn of the heat.
This goes really well with rice, ghee and mudda pappu. Serve with Pappadums.
This is my entry for Nupur’s A-Z of Indian Vegetables
Notes and Tips.
You can use butternut squash instead of pumpkin like me. Yellow onion goes really well, you can use red onion also.