An Indian side dish, Pumpkin Raita has soft cooked pumpkin cubes in a smoky tadka of mustard seeds stirred into cooling yogurt. Garnished with fresh cilantro, this cooling dish is a perfect accompaniment with Indian curries and rice dishes.
This delicious pumpkin raita is nutritious and also helps enhance complex flavors while toning down the heat and warmth of spicy dishes. A creamy mild dish that both kids and adults enjoy!
What is a Raita?
Raita simply means a side dish, often made with small cubed veggies that can be cooked or raw, in a creamy tangy yogurt seasoned with salt and sugar or chili pepper. A must-have in Indian meals raita is often served alongside roti, stir-fried veggie, dal, and rice There are many different variations of raita including beet raita, eggplant raita, cucumber raita, just to name a few.
This pumpkin raita is a great year-round dish but especially in fall when pumpkins are bountiful. I would also recommend using fresh pumpkin for this recipe instead of the canned ones. Fresh pumpkin results in the best flavor and texture.
- Pumpkin - rich in beta carotene pumpkin is a great addition to meals. It has mild flavors and works well in sweet and savory dishes. For this recipe, I buy fresh cut piece of pumpkin that are available in the produce aisles packaged in serran wrap. Simply peel off the skin and then cut the pumpkin into smaller cubes.
- Mustard seeds - with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, mustard seeds are pungent and nutty as they release their flavor when added to hot oil.
- Green Chili - adding just 1 or 2 small Indian chilies add a perfect kick to this dish without making it overly spicy. You can also add other spicy chilies like serranos.
- Yogurt - Plain yogurt is usually added to this recipe and is a good source protein, calcium and potassium. It adds the perfect creminess and tangy flavors.
- To make this raita vegan simply substitute the yogurt with your favorite plain dairy free yogurt
- Slit the green chili in half, this way you can easily pick the pieces out when serving
- Do not over cook the pumpkin, cook covered for 2 to 3 minutes until they get a quick steam and then promptly remove the lid
Step 1: Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Add mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add green chili, cubed pumpkin, and salt. Mix well and cooked covered on low medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the pumpkin cubes are cooked soft.
Step 2: Allow the cooked pumpkin to cook down to room temperature. In the meantime whisk yogurt, add salt and sugar. Add cooked pumpkin to the yogurt. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
Pumpkin raita is best served fresh. Any leftovers can be refrigerated for 2 days in an airtight container. To make this ahead, the pumpkin can be cooked and refrigerated for 2 to 3 days. Simply add to yogurt when ready to serve.
Did you enjoy this quick and easy side dish? Here are some other recipes to try that pair perfectly with Indian food
- Heat oil in a nonstick pan. Add mustard seeds and allow them to pop. Add green chili, cubed pumpkin, and salt. Mix well and cooked covered on low medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes or until the pumpkin cubes are cooked soft.
- Allow the cooked pumpkin to cook down to room temperature. In the meantime whisk yogurt, salt, and sugar.
- Add cooked pumpkin to the yogurt. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
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