“Kumbalakai kalla andre, hegalu mutti nodikonda” (When we said the pumpkin is stolen, he checked his shoulder) is a popularly known proverb in Kannada- means only a thief who has stolen a pumpkin, will be afraid and double-check himself if he has left any clues, when pumpkin is mentioned” .
Kumbalakai palya is well liked dish in Udupi and prepared in every functions. It is very simple and easy to make recipe for chapathi and steamed rice. Pumpkins are cooked with green chilies and seasoned with mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal and a pinch of hing. In the end, it is topped with freshly grated coconut and coriander leaves.
- ¼ medium sized Kumbalakai / Ash gourd / Winter melon
- 1 Green Chilie
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp urad dal
- 1 tsp channa dal
- a pinch of asafoetida / hing
- 2 red chillies
- 1 sprig of Curry leaves
- ½ tsp Turmeric powder
- ½ cup Water
- ½ cup Grated / desiccated / shredded Coconut
- 3-5 sprigs of coriander leaves
- 4 tsp oil
- Salt to taste
Lets start the recipe step by step:
- Chop the kumbalakai / Ash gourd / Winter melon into small cubes along with finely chopped chilli and coriander leaves. Keep it aside.
- In a large frying pan, heat oil and add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal, channa dal, red chilli and hing. When it starts to sizzle add green chilies and curry leaves. Saute for 30 sec.
- Add kumbalakai (Ash gourd or Winter melon), turmeric powder. Mix well and saute for a minute.
- Add 1/2 cup of water and adjust salt as per taste.
- Cover with the lid and cook for 5 minutes in low flame. Mix in between.
- Add fresh/desicated/shreded coconut and coriander leaves. Mix it well.
- Serve it with chapathi or steamed rice and sambar.