Vegan Curry: Pumpkin Sambar

by Lisa K. on Thu, January 17, 2019

In the spirit of Thaipusam, we are making this heavenly vegan Pumpkin & Dhal Curry that is great with rice or bread. Tender pumpkin with warm spices, it is full of flavour and taste even better overnight. Use quick cook dhal to speed things up or use a pressure cooker. Either way, you’d be pleased with this curry.

This is one good vegan curry

Serves 4 people

Pumpkin Sambar is quite liduid-y and the pumpkin is almost disappearing into the sauce. Reduce longer if you’d prefer it to be thicker.

Store bought sambar powder is a bit sour. If the end product is a bit tangy, balance it off with a little sugar.

Foodster's Verdict

Vegan Curry: Pumpkin Sambar


  • Preparation
  • Total
    3 tbsp. ghee/oil
    1 tsp. mustard seeds
    3-5 dried chillies
    2 sprigs curry leaves
    ½ tsp. turmeric powder
    3 tbsp. sambar powder
    Tamarind juice, 1 tbsp. tamarind diluted with 3 cups water
    1/2 cup dhal, quick cook type, soaked for 30 minutes
    500g pumpkin, cut into cubes
    1 tomato, cut into wedges
    Fresh coriander for garnishing, optional


1. Heat oil and toss in mustard seeds. When the seeds starts popping, add in dried chillies, curry leaves, green chillies and turmeric powder. Cook for about 30 seconds until it becomes fragrant.

2. Add in sambar powder, tamarind juice (discard seeds) and dhal (drained). Bring it to a boil and simmer for a few minutes.

At this stage it will be quite sour. Don't be tempted to add sugar. The sweetness will come from pumpkin

3. Add in pumpkin and tomato wedges. Simmer for about 40 minutes until pumpkin and dhal are tender.

From this step, you can either simmer on the stove or pressure cook for 5 minutes

4. Season with salt, sugar and garnish with chopped fresh coriander.

Cook until pumpkin is tender and dhal is almost disappearing into the sauce

Serve with Pita bread, Naan bread, Chapatti, Puri, any other roti you can think of and of course rice