Red Pumpkin chutney ( Parangikai Thogayal )

This is one of the most tastiest chutneys you can make, full bodied, not runny and with just enough depth and a great colour .

Am constantly seeking ways and alternatives to replace the ubiquitous coconut chutneys and the liberal use of coconut which has become taboo of late on account of  cholesterol issues.

Amazingly you do not have to look too far if you glance at the everyday vegetables that we use almost all of them have been used in various chutneys in some form or the other.

Our grandmas knew better than tossing away the peels of the veggies which they saved assiduously aside for some chutney to be served later and appeared magically on the table as it were. ! Much as I would like to use peels too, the times that we live in , with threat of toxic chemicals liberally used on the plants and the ways the chemical  pesticides are used, I cringe from using the peels and unless I know the crop comes from the organic farm with established credentials , I do not have the courage to use the peels of vegetables.

But not to worry there are a zillion things you could do with the simple vegetables of the fruit rather, the humble pumpkin of all colors and sizes.

We grew up  eating thogayals / chutneys made from many vegetables and the most popular one being the red pumpkin chutney/ thogayal  in Tamil. One of the reason the thogayal was made almost every other day was to ensure the vegetables were consumed in this form in the most delicious way, mixing it up with rice and a roasted papad. Also made a great accompaniment for the idlis, dosas that we had almost everyday and the best way to have curd rice with.


Ingredients:


2 cups of finely chopped red pumpkin pieces.
1 1/2 tsp udad dal
3 -4 red chillies or as you prefer.
1 small berry size tamrind
Generous pinch of asafoetida/hing powder

1 small firm tomato finely chopped    ( optional , I added as it gives a beautiful colour, and a nice tang to the chutney , can be omitted )
small sprigs of curry leaves.  ( adding the curry leaves while sauteing gives a great taste and flavour to the chutney and very nutritious )

salt to taste
1 tbsp gingelly oil/sesame oil

1 tsp mustard seeds for tempering.


Method:


First  roast the  udad dal, red chillies and the hing with a tsp of sesame oil till the dal gets a golden colour and a nice aroma.

Keep aside to cool.

Saute the chopped pumpkin pieces, curry leaves, tomatoes and the tamrind piece  with a tsp of oil till they appear softened . Try not to mash up the tomatoes releasing the water, so choose firm tomatoes to saute e. Using tomatoes as I  mentioned earlier is optional.


Dry grind  the roasted dals, red chillies first as shown to a coarse powder and then add the sauteed cooled pumpkin pieces with salt and tamrind and grind together with the powder to a smooth paste.

Remove and add the spluttered mustard seeds with hot sesame oil and stir the chutney well.

This stays good for 4 - 5  days max in the fridge and make sure not to add any water while grinding.


Enjoy this chutney /thogayal with hot plain rice and papad, or as a accompaniment for idlis and dosas skipping the coconut chutney.



 With a drop of oil roast the udad dal seeds, red chillies, pinch of hing till the dal gets golden. Dry grind separately.

Grind the roasted dal, red chillies to a coarse powder before adding the sauteed pumpkin pieces. to get a smooth consistency.






 Grind the pumpkin pieces with the tamrind, sauteed tomatoes, and the powdered dal, red chillies all together to get a smooth paste.





Temper the chutney with mustard seeds spluttered in sesame oil to get a delicious taste.

















Tips

Small shallots  can also be added to the pumpkins while sauteing. Gives a great taste.
Chana dal  can also be used in place of udad dal.

Adding sprigs of curry leaves is not necessary but it adds to the nutrition to the already nutrition packed chutney and a nice flavor too.



Healthy Notes.


Pumpkin nutrition facts

Pumpkin fruit is one of the widely grown vegetables that is incredibly rich in vital antioxidants, and vitamins. This humble backyard low calorie vegetable contains vitamin A, flavonoid poly-phenolic antioxidants such as leutin, xanthin, and carotenes in abundance.

The plant is a fast-growing vine that creeps on the surface in a similar fashion like that of other Cucurbitaceae family vegetables and fruits such as cucumber, squash, cantaloupes...etc. It is one of the most popular field crops cultivated around the world, including the USA at the commercial scale for its fruit, and seeds.


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