This dish came about after tasting some Jeera Aloo (Cumin seed potatoes) at a Nepalese and Indian restaurant where the Midwest contingent of my family met just before Christmas. I’d never had it before and enjoyed it very much. As of the writing of this I still have 6 pumpkins from this autumn’s harvest. I thought it might be good to substitute the potato with pumpkin.

Jeera means caraway and the whole seeds impart a delicious and unexpected flavor to the pumpkin that is just perfect for a cold winter day.

Jeera Pumpkin

Serves six as a side dish

2.2 lbs (1 Kg) peeled and diced Pumpkin
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) oil
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) whole Cumin seed
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1 teaspoon (5 ml) turmeric powder
½ teaspoon (2 ml) chili powder
1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground coriander
½ teaspoon (2 ml) garam masala powder
Water as needed


    1. Heat oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat
    2. Add cumin seeds to hot oil. When they start to sputter and crackle, add pumpkin and stir to combine
    3. Add a little water – about half cup, add salt, turmeric powder and stir to combine, cover with lid or aluminum foil, reduce heat to medium low
    4. Check pumpkin after 5 minutes for tenderness. Add another ½ cup water if needed
    5. When pumpkin is tender, add coriander powder , red chili powder, and stir to combine
    6. Remove pan from heat, add garam masala powder and stir to combine
    7. Check seasoning and adjust salt, pepper and masala as needed

JP Parallax
As pretty as it is fragrant, this dish is slightly sweet from the pumpkin, has great flavor and a little heat but not too much. Serve with rice, dahl, chapati or naan.