Original Bengali Kumro Chechki or Stir-fried Pumpkin Recipe
Only God knows how much I have been craving this traditional dish of kumro or pumpkin, which is so popular among the Bengalis. But, it is very hard to find the perfect original recipe, even on the internet. I think this was one of the major reasons why I started this blog in the first place. I am very forgetful in terms of names, faces and now, as I come to know of it, recipes. Every time I would start on something, I would end up calling my mom or someone else for the recipe which they must have already told me a hundred time! So, this time it was this utterly simple kumro-chechki, chechki being the Bengali term for stir-fry! I was just a bit confused about the tempering, so I thought of checking the recipe on the internet. And, oh my God! I found all sorts of things going in this recipe on different blogs. No! No! Don’t tamper with the original recipe, for God’s sake. Bengali cooking is all about its simplicity. Each thing that goes into a dish renders its special and unique aroma. A simply tempering of Nigella seeds can make a whole lot of difference in a particular recipe as against the usage of Panchphoron or Cumin Seeds! In this case, its the simple flavors of Mustard seeds and Green Chillies that does the magic. So, let’s check out this beautiful Bengali recipe for kumro-chechki.
- 250 gms. ripened Pumpkin – cut in julienne
- 1 Tbsp. Mustard Oil
- 1/2 tsp. Mustard Seeds
- A pinch of Hing or Asafoetida
- 1-2 Green Chillies – slit or sliced
- Salt to taste
- 1 tsp. Turmeric Powder
- 2 tsp. Sugar
Time To Stir It Up!
- Heat the Mustard Oil in a pan. Let it heat up to the smoking point, then lower the heat.
- Now, add the Mustard Seeds, Asafoetida or Hing, and Green Chillies.
- As they splatter, add the Pumpkin and mix everything well. Keep the heat on medium-high.
- Add the Salt, Turmeric Powder and Sugar. Give everything a nice stir, and cover the pan with a lid. Let it simmer on low-medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Give everything a gentle stir at every 2 minutes interval. Here, we are looking for a uniform cooking but without making the pumpkins a mishmash, as it is a very soft veggie. It would start separating some water, so let it cook in it only. Sometimes, raw pumpkins tend to turn out a little dried due to summer’s heat. In that case, they might not leave any water in the pan. SO, you may add a tablespoon or two of water to prevent it from sticking at the bottom of the pan. Take care not to add excess of it, because all we are looking for is to get it a little tender in its own juice.
Once, the you feel the pumpkins are cooked, remove the lid and bump up the heat to medium-high. Fry it till it starts separating oil. Once done, take it off the heat and serve hot.
Serves: 2-3 persons
This goes without saying that kumro chechki can be best experienced with luchis or pooris or Unleavened deep fried Indian breads. But, it can be also good with paranthas and rotis.