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Pump up the Pumpkin!


Himachal Pradesh is one of the north Indian markets that P Mark Mustard Oil has been present in for many, many decades, and generations of loyal consumers have always trusted the oil for its purity and consistent quality. The Himachali people are very creative in their use of Mustard Oil; and they use this oil in many ways – for healthy cooking, for adding to the overall taste of the dishes, and for spicing up everyday food… as this recipe will demonstrate.

In this Himachali recipe, the mundane pumpkin (Kaddoo) is transformed into a mouth-watering main dish… with a little help from common Indian spices and cold-pressed Mustard Oil.

Here are the ingredients that you will require for this traditional Himachali delight:


  1. Pumpkin (Kaddoo): 2.5 kilograms

  2. Mustard Oil: 2 tablespoon

  3. Mustard Seeds (Rai): 30 grams

  4. Paanch Phoran: 1 tablespoon

  5. Green Chillies: 2

  6. Bay Leaves (Tej Patta): 2

  7. Turmeric (Haldi) Powder: 1 teaspoon

  8. Asafoetida (Heeng): Just a pinch

  9. Dry Mango Powder (Aamchur): 1 teaspoon

  10. Coriander (Dhania) Powder: 1 teaspoon

  11. Coriander (Dhania) Leaves: 2 tablespoon

  12. Salt: To taste

One of the traditional spices mentioned above is Paanch Phoran. This is a mixture of five spices and is used widely across Himachal Pradesh, Bengal and Bihar. You can buy packaged Paanch Phoran at stores – but if you are a purist (like most Himachali housewives and chefs are), you can make this at home by mixing Fenugreek seeds (Methi), Nigella seeds (Kalonji), Cumin seeds (Jeera), Mustard Seeds (Rai) and Fennel seeds (Saunf) in equal quantities and grinding them into a coarse dry powder.

You will notice that in spite of Mustard seeds (Rai) being a part of Paanch Phoran, this recipe also includes Mustard seeds as a separate ingredient. That’s because a freshly prepared mustard paste is used to give this dish its finishing touch.


Peel, wash and chop the pumpkin into small teaspoon-sized pieces.

Coarsely chop the coriander leaves.

In a bowl mix the Mustard seeds with 2 to 3 tablespoon of water, and grind into a paste.


Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan on a Medium flame till it reaches its smoking point. When the oil starts smoking add the asafoetida, green chillies, bay leaves and Paanch Phoran. Fry till the aroma of the spices wafts up and tantalizes your nostrils.

Next, add the chopped pumpkin and stir to mix the contents well. Cook for around 15 minutes. When the pumpkin pieces turn soft, add the turmeric powder along with the coriander powder and salt.

Continue cooking for a couple of minutes and then add the dry mango powder. Mix well – reduce the flame to Low and continue cooking.

Use a large wooden spoon or ladle to mash the soft pumpkin pieces.

Remove the pan from the flame and let it cool. Once the contents of the pan have cooled down a bit, add the mustard paste and mix thoroughly.

Transfer the contents to a serving dish, garnish with the chopped coriander leaves and serve warm.

Your traditional Himachali Pumpkin dish is now ready to be served. It can be eaten with rice or Roti.

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