Kumror choka or chokka, is an absolutely delightful dish made from pumpkin, belongs to bengali cuisine. The method of cooking this dish differs slightly from home to home. Every home has their own touch on it. But the main ingredients are always the same...pumpkin, potato and kala chana or black chick peas. Some people also add parwal / patol / pointed guard, too. But that is optional. The spices also play an important role, here. The taste differs there.
Pumpkin (kumro) : 1/2 (Cut into big cubes)
Parwal /Patol / Pointed Gourd : 5-6 nos.
Potato : 2 (medium)
Chola /kala chana / Black chickpeas : 1/2 cup (soak overnight or 4 hours in hot water)
Spice : Panch phoron : 2 tsp.(1 tsp. for tempering+1 tsp.dry roasting) (5 spices- fenugreek, mustard, white cumin, black cumin & fennel / aniseed (mouri) - mix each in equal quantity and store for future use)
Bay leaves : 1
Green chilli : 1 (slitted)
Turmeric Powder : 2 tsp.
Chilli powder : 1 tsp.
Cumin powder : 1 tsp.
Ghee(clarified butter) : 1 tblsp.
Bengali Garam masala : 1 tsp.(grounded powder mix of 1" cinnamon stick, 2-3 cardamoms, 3 cloves)
Raw peanuts : 1 tblsp.
Oil : 2 tblsp.
Salt to taste
Sugar : 1 tblsp.
Fresh coriander leaves(optional)
1. Cut pumpkin in big cube like pieces and potatoes in medium sized cube like pieces. The pumpkin pieces should be bigger than potatoes, as pumpkin cooks faster than potatoes. Cut the Parwal also in1' thick circles.
2. Soak black chickpeas overnight if possible, otherwise soak in hot water for 4 hours.
3. Dry roast 1 tsp. panch phoron on hot tawa until seeds start to splutter and turn light brown, you'll get the aroma too. Remove from heat and immediately grind in coffee grinder and keep in an airtight container for future use.
4. Fry raw peanuts and grind coarsely into little pieces.
1. Heat oil in a pan, fry the parwal pieces with a pinch of turmeric powder and and a little salt. When they are brown from both sides, remove from heat. In the same pan, temper with bay leaf and panch phoron, when seeds start turning light brown, add pumpkin and potato pieces. Add salt, slitted green chillies and fry for 2-3 minutes. Add all powdered spices, fried parwal/patol pieces and kala chana or chick peas now. Mix well adding 2-3 tblsp. water into it.
2. When spices blend well, add 1 cup or enough water to cook the veggies. When water dries up and the veggies are cooked, check the seasoning and add sugar now. Mix well, the taste will be a blend of sweet and spicy. Add ghee and garam masala. Mix well, stir for 1 minute and remove from heat.
3. Lastly add roasted panch phoron powder and fried peanuts.
4. Garnish with fresh coriander leaves, if available. Serve with any kind of Indian Bread or with plain rice.