Nadan Mathan

Nadan Mathan – Pumpkin Curry

Pumpkin or squash have become such a popular autumn food that I decided it was time I found an Indian recipe with pumpkin as the main ingredient. I found this one called Nadan Mathan or for us pumpkin or squash curry, which is a popular vegetarian dish from the state of Kerala in southern India. This dish I hear, is usually cooked during the festivals, which they tend to have a lot of in India!

So, I decided to make this dish using a Butternut squash and it worked really well and what I found really good was the frying of dried chilies, with mustard seeds and the lentils, in fact I would probably add more lentils next time as they really made the dish for me, as they had a bit of give to them, but still retained some crunch.

Anyway, I’m sure that once you’ve tried this recipe you will make it again and and possibly add a twist of your own.

Serves: 4


  • 500 – 600 g cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 500 ml water, or as needed
  • 1 tspn ground turmeric
  • 50 g grated coconut
  • 3 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 green chili pepper
  • 2 tbs water, or as needed
  • 1 tspn cumin seeds
  • 1 tbs coconut oil, divided
  • 2 dried red chili peppers
  • 1 tspn mustard seeds
  • 2 tspn skinned split black lentils (urad dal)
  • 1 tbs grated coconut
  • 6 fresh curry leaves, or more to taste
  • Salt to taste

Preparation method:

Place the diced pumpkin in a large pot and pour in the 500 ml so the cubes are floating. Season with turmeric and salt then bring the pumpkin to the boil and cook until the pumpkin is tender yet firm, about 15 minutes.

In a food processor grind the 50 g grated coconut, 3 dried red chili peppers the green chili, 2 tablespoons water and the cumin seeds into a paste, then add it to the pumpkin give it a good stir and bring to the boil again. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the liquid has thickened and coats the pumpkin cubes, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Pour into a large serving bowl.

Now heat 2 teaspoons of coconut oil in a small pan add the 2 dried red chili peppers, mustard seeds and black lentils in hot oil until they start to spit, about 2 to 3 minutes and pour over curry.

Heat the remaining teaspoon of coconut oil in the pan and fry 1 tablespoon of grated coconut until it has completely browned, about 3 to 5 minutes, then sprinkle on top of the curry.

Garnish the dish with the curry leaves.

Serve with some plain rice or Roti or other soft Indian bread.