Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Sri Lankan Style Pumpkin Curry or Watakka Kalu Pol Maluwa

I'm elated to be part of the 1st Annual Virtual Iftar Potluck on 12th July, 2014 organized by Lail Hossain from www.withaspin.com . Hailing from Malaysia had given me an immense experience of seeing Muslim friends observing fasting every year. It constantly left me awed by their fidelity and patience that they have cultivated throughout their life towards achieving the spiritual mission as outlined by their religion. Fasting during the month of Ramadan is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. The month is spent by Muslims fasting during the daylight hours from dawn to sunset. The first day of the next month Shawwal is spent in celebration and is observed as the 'Festival of Breaking Fast' or Eid al-Fitr. I could perceive the intensity of true devotion depicted in the eyes of little Muslim children whom for the first time being taught of fasting. Joyous such was their demeanor about the holy month of Ramadan. The sound of prayers echoed through the audible speaker at the nearby mosque signaled the time of worship before the break of fasting. A cluster of small kiosks selling varieties of food in the evening could be seen during the month of Ramadan across my vicinity. Food was also shared with all showing that it's a month of giving and unity of love for other races too. I associate this attribute with deep yellow as it's the colour of ever shining sun. For the virtual potluck, I have chosen a Sri Lankan vegetarian dish called 'Watakka Kalu Pol Maluwa' using golden yellow pumpkin which is robust in flavor, light and creamy in texture. It' s a less spicy dish but rich in beta-carotene which suits the potluck theme. At home, during special or religious occasion, I use to serve this Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry with Kuska Biryani. Its a yummy and wholesome dish. You can also find other potluck recipes on the above mentioned site.

Sri Lankan Style Pumpkin Curry


Pumpkin : 250 gm
Big onions : 1
Garlic : 3 cloves
Green chillies : 2
Chilli powder : 1 tsp
Turmeric powder : 1/2 tsp
Sri Lankan spice powder : 1 tsp - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt : as needed
Sugar : 1/4 tsp
Grated coconut : 2 tbsp
Raw rice : 1 tsp
Coconut milk : 1 cup
Water : 1 1/2 cups - 2 cups or more
Oil : 2 tbsp

To Temper :

Mustard : 1 tsp
Fenugreek : 1 tsp
Cinnamon : a small inch
Curry Leaves : a sprig

Sri Lankan Spice Powder :

Coriander seeds : 2 tsp
Cumin seeds : 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds : 1 tbsp
Fenugreek : 1 tbsp
Cinnamon : a small piece
Cardamon : 6
Cloves : 6
Curry leaves : 5
Dry red chilly : 6

Method :

1. Chop the pumpkin in a big chunks. There is no need to peel off its skin.

2. In a pan, dry roast 2 tbsp coconut till it is deep golden brown. 1 tsp raw rice is also roasted till it becomes crispy. Grind to smooth powder and keep aside.

3. In a pan, dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under 'Sri Lankan Spice Powder' section separately and grind to smooth powder. Keep aside.

4. In a same pan, add 2 tbsp of oil and fry ingredients mentioned under 'To temper' section. After that, fry sliced onions and slitted green chillies till the onion becomes translucent.

5. Now, add chopped pumpkin and start frying till it is well cooked.

6. Then, add chilly powder, turmeric powder, (roasted coconut + raw rice powder), 1 tsp of Sri Lankan  powder, salt and sugar. Mix well.

7. Eventually after pumpkin had cooked properly, add 1 cup of coconut milk plus 1 1/2 - 2 cups or more of water. The consistency of the curry is based on individual preference. You can turn the dish into thick masala or semi gravy. Let it simmer on low flame for 3 min and switch off the stove.

8. You may garnish the dish with some coriander leaves.



  1. Thank you for joining the potluck, Abby. I hope you get to come over and enjoy the iftar spread other are bringing.

    1. You are most welcome and thank you once again for hosting the iftar potluck.

  2. Hopping over from the Virtual Iftar. Yum, I love pumpkin!

    1. Thanks friend for the visit to my blog. I love pumpkin too.

  3. Hi ...1st time here....following you...nice blog and this curry looks yummy...please do visit my blog when you are free :)

    1. Thanks for the like. You have got an amazing blog too.

  4. It was nice being part of this iftar party. Thanks for joining us. Your dish is a meal by itself.. very tempting to try. Thanks for sharing.


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