Kurmor Chokha: Pumpkin Curry From Bengali Kitchen

You will be astounded by how amazing this tastes if you have never had kumror chokka. Just ripe delicious pumpkins braised slowly with potatoes, together with a few extra garnishes like Bengal gram and grated coconut, create a meal that is sure to become a staple in your regular menu. In this recipe, the vegetables truly stand out, but ghee and bhaja moshla  also have important flavours. Up until a few years ago, luchi with kumror chokka was a staple on wedding menus, but its popularity has since waned. But it shouldn't! 


600 g mishti kumro (sweet pumpkin) 

300 g potatoes 

20 g chola (Bengal gram, soaked overnight) or roasted peanuts 

20 g freshly grated coconut 

50 g mustard oil 

2 pcs dried red chillies 

2 pcs bay leaves 

½ tsp panch phoron 

12 g ginger paste 

6 g cumin powder 

½ tsp turmeric 

¼ tsp red chilli powder 

1 pinch hing (asafoetida) 

2 g green chillies 

12 g total salt 

9 g sugar 

½ tsp bhaja masala‍ 

1 tbsp ghee 


With enough water, Bengal gram should be washed and soaked overnight. Peel the pumpkin and cut it into 3-cm pieces. Potatoes should be peeled and cut into 3-cm cubes. Make a thick paste of hing, ginger paste, cumin powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and a little amount of water in a bowl. In a kadhai, heat mustard oil until it begins to smoke and turn a pale yellow colour. Fry on medium heat with the cover on while adding the pumpkin and 3 grams of salt. The sides of the pumpkin will begin to darken as the sugars within begin to caramelise. This process ought to take five minutes. Remove the deep-fried pumpkin from the oil, and then set it aside. To slightly cool the oil, reduce the flame. Then add bay leaves and dried red chilies to the oil to temper it. Add the panch phoron as soon as the chiles become dark. Keep the spices from burning. The potatoes should be added to the oil right away, along with 3 grams of salt, and cooked over medium heat until golden. Five minutes are needed for this. After that, add the Bengal gram (chhola) that has been soaked, and fried for a further two minutes over low heat. Fry the freshly grated coconut for two minutes, or until it turns golden. Once the raw spice scent has vanished, add the spice slurry that we had created. Cover and continue to braise (six minutes). When necessary, add a quick burst of hot water. As with the fried pumpkin, the potatoes should be fully cooked. The fried pumpkin is now added to the kadhai. Stir in the remaining 6 gram of salt, the sugar, and the green chilies before adding a tight-fitting lid. Till the potatoes and pumpkins are tender-crisp, cook under cover. You might need to gradually add hot water as necessary. After that, turn off the heat and add the ghee and bhaja masala. Stir and then put a lid on. Serve with prantha or hot luchi.