Kumbalakai Palya

Kumbalakai Palya

If you love pumpkin, you will love this curry!

Sihi kumbalakai palya or pumpkin curry, famous in the southern parts of India, is a tasty, dry vegetable curry made using pumpkin. It is a personal favorite(savory) pumpkin dish that my mom used to make for our lunch boxes. I have adopted this recipe from her not only because it’s tasty but because it’s super easy to make and requires simple ingredients. What gives this dish a uniquely satisfying taste is the coming together of the sweetness of pumpkin and the spiciness of the green chili – SO yummy!

Make this quick, under 30 minutes vegan curry on days when you are running late for work or otherwise, and enjoy it with wheat rotis and chapatis. Continue reading to know how to make this simple pumpkin curry or Sihi kumbalakai palya.

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes
Yield: 3-4 Servings



200g pumpkin, rinsed and cut into 3/4th inch cubes
3 tablespoons of cooking oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chana dal
2-3 green chilies, split into halves
One sprig of curry leaves
1 medium onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
Cilantro, for garnish
Salt to taste


Rinse the pumpkin well and cut it into 3/4 inch cubes.

Add cooking oil into a medium-sized cooking pan with a lid and bring it to heat on medium flame. Once the oil is hot enough, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and allow them to pop and sizzle. Next, add the chana dal and fry them on low flame until golden brown. Then, add the green chilies, curry leaves, chopped onion, and saute until the onion is translucent.

Transfer the pumpkin cubes into the pan, sprinkle salt to taste and turmeric powder over it, and mix well. Cover the lid and cook on low-medium flame, occasionally stirring, until the pumpkin is well cooked. Pumpkins are 90% water, so there is no need to add water to cook them. But there are chances of the curry getting burnt, which is why you need to stir it occasionally.

When the curry is almost done, taste for salt and make necessary adjustments. Continue to cook for another minute or two and turn off the heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot pumpkin curry with rotis or chapatis and enjoy.

Kumbalakai Palya/ Pumpkin Curry


  • Add green chilies to your taste.
  • Eat pumpkin curry fresh and warm.
  • If you like some tanginess in the curry, drizzle a tablespoon of fresh lime juice before eating.

If you tried this recipe, tag your food recreation on my Instagram @swaadista and let me know how you liked it!

Happy cooking and happy eating <3

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