This is a fun, vibrant, light curry of pumpkin infused with the classic combination of flavours of green chillies and nigella seeds. Kumro'r jhal is extremely easy to make (it doesn’t require you to spend several minutes sauteing spices) and can be knocked out in under 30 minutes. If you do not have unripe or green pumpkin on hand, butter squash will work well too.
A jhal is a type of Bengali curry characterised by the sharpness of its flavours, unlike its close cousin, the jhol, which is usually more mellow. This recipe, kumro’r jhal, is defined by the heat and aroma that comes from freshly crushed green chillies and kaalo jeere. Here, these are not only used as phoron, but also pasted and added to the curry itself. Apart from that, this unusual jhal recipe also makes use of coconut paste, some milk, and a pinch of flour, all of which render a light, yet creamy, gravy.
- 500 g pumpkin (kumro)
- 200 g water
- 10 g salt
- ¼ tsp salt (for green chilli and nigella seed paste)
- 15 g mustard oil
- 2 pcs dried red chillies
- 1 pc bay leaf
- ½ tsp kaalo jeere (nigella seeds)
- 2 pcs green chillies
- 16 g pasted coconut
- 40 g milk
- ¼ tsp maida (flour)
- 12 g sugar
- Crush a green chilli and kaalo jeere with a pinch of salt.
- Divide pumpkin into wedges, 4 cm wide. Shave off the skin. Cut into 4 cm cubes.
- Transfer the cubes of pumpkin to a saucepan. Add water; take exact quantity of water as this will form the curry. Add salt. Cover and boil till pumpkin is 90% tender (10 minutes). Do not drain the water.
- Heat mustard oil in kadai. Temper oil with dried red chillies, bay leaf, green chilli, and kaalo jeere.
- Once the spices turn aromatic, add boiled pumpkin along with the water.
- Add pasted coconut. Mix well.
- Add crushed green chilli and kaalo jeere. Mix well.
- Add sugar. Mix the flour in the milk and add to the kadai. Bubble on medium heat for 4 minutes.
- Serve hot with rice.