Gummadikaya pulusu

G for Gummadikaya Pulusu:- Famous and favorite Andhra Specialty

dsc03612tn.jpgMy 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?
(Source http://www.urbanext.uiuc.edu/pumpkins/history.html)

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)
Curry leaves
Salt to taste
2-3 cups Water (to make pulusu)

For seasoning

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.


18 Responses to “Gummadikaya pulusu”

  1. March 11, 2007 at 8:43 am

    wow! maybe now my hub will eat pumpkins. this recipe looks spicy enough for him!thanks!!

  2. March 11, 2007 at 9:09 am

    Great color P!!:)) Thanks girl.

  3. March 11, 2007 at 10:10 am

    Great. Never occured to me to cook with onions.
    I also wanted to send something with gummadikaya. I could not go to shopping this week. So, sent an entry with carrot.

  4. March 11, 2007 at 12:56 pm

    Thanks for the delicious and colorful pulusu recipe. Will try it sometime.

  5. 5 sia
    March 12, 2007 at 10:42 am

    even we have pumpkins growing bk in india. my dad is quite fond of theis veg.
    thats a lovely colour padma. very rich and golden. and gr8 pic also.

  6. March 12, 2007 at 2:52 pm

    Sunshine on your pumpkin….lovely color
    We tried growing Pumpkins here the last 2 years, the first year we got a couple unripe ones but last year it got cold.
    But we love eating the vines and leaves of the pumpkin plant and make lovely sabzi out of them and since the stalks and leaves are not sold we grow them 🙂

  7. March 12, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    Hi padmaja
    this is making my mouth watery!!1

  8. March 12, 2007 at 10:03 pm

    great looking dish….lovely colours…I am sure it tastes devine too…thanks for sharing..

  9. March 12, 2007 at 10:59 pm

    Hai Shaheen,
    Yes this is a spicy, sweet and sour dish. Goes really well with rice and leftover turns into a thick gravy curry so taste good with roties also:)

    Thanks Asha.

    Suma, Onions adds nice flavor and my mom also makes this with onions. Even I was thinking to send something with carrot, then I made this:).

    Thanks lakshmi and will check WHOLE FOODS in the weekend.

    Same pinch sia. MY dad use to grow almost all vegetables in our back yard. Not any more. 😦

    Wow Sandeepa, Lemee look for a house next to u:). I know that pumpkin vines and leaves are also used in Indian cooking but don’t know the recipe:). We make spicy powder out of seeds and eat with rice.

    Hey Swapna I still have some in fridge, you can join me 😀

    Thanks Dilipji, its one of my husband’s fav dish.

  10. March 12, 2007 at 11:49 pm

    Lovely picture,and simple recipe.I will try this soon.Thanks for sharing this.

  11. March 12, 2007 at 11:53 pm

    Wow..you have such a beautiful blog here. Don’t know how I missed it all these days. I love pumpkins in any dish. I am going to try this sometime. Thanks dear.

  12. March 13, 2007 at 9:37 am

    OH reminded me of my hometown !! lovely recipe , i too make it but lil diff way. nice bright yellow colour , treat to my eyes!

  13. 13 Anu
    September 26, 2007 at 9:23 am


    very delecious, yesterday i bought one big pumpkin today i will prepare it and let u know by tomorrow hot it is tasting.

  14. September 26, 2007 at 2:00 pm

    Good Luck n happy cooking Anu..

  15. 15 Sirisha
    October 12, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    Thank you for the mouth-watering recipe, Priya.

  16. 16 Vani
    April 21, 2009 at 9:34 pm

    I made the Pulusu. It was awesome. My husband absolutely loves it. He is from Andra.
    Thanks for the wonderful recipe. Keep up the good work 🙂

  17. 17 latha
    June 1, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Today I want cook Gummadikaya pulusu .I find the recipe.
    Thank you for the recipe.

  18. 18 mallika
    April 13, 2010 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you so much… I made it several times after seeing your recipe, but I come back to your website everytime I make this dish to make sure i am adding the right ingredients. The lovely picture of the pulusu motivates me to cook :). The only variation is that I don’t use jaggery as the butternut squash is itself very sweet.

    Thanks again!!

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