Winter melon / Ash gourd yoghurt curry (Kumbalanga Pachadi)

IMG_2053OK this is going to be purely a recipe post. I have no interesting stories to tell. Really I got nothing. I think its all the Diwali sweets going to my head. (And pretty soon they will show up in other parts of my body too! uugh!) Well strict gym routine for the next 4 weeks. And then we will have Thanksgiving when we will go on a hogging spree once again. Again ‘gymming’ and then again break for Christmas! At least I have it all planned out 🙂

So winter melon or ash gourd (Kumbalanga in malayalam and petha in hindi ) is a vegetable that tastes a little bit like cucumber and a little bit like squash. See pic below.  I have seen it only Indian or Asian supermarkets in the US. You need to peel the skin away which is a little bit hard and then the main flesh of the vegetable cooks pretty fast.  I have posted recipe of Kumabalanga curry before which is kumbalanga cooked in coconut milk.  This pachadi is very similar to that except here coconut paste is mixed with yoghurt (similar to beetroot pachadi).  This kumbalanga pachadi is one of the many side dishes at a sadya(traditional feast on plantain leaves), Onam or otherwise. Simple and so tasty.Yum! 🙂


Here is the recipe:

Winter melon / Ash gourd yoghurt curry (Kumbalanga Pachadi)

  • Time: About 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
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 This recipe makes about 4-6 servings as a side dish with rice


3 cups kumbalanga (winter melon or ash gourd)
1/4 cup green mango cut into 1 inch cubes (optional)
5 green chillies, slit length wise (use fewer if you don’t want much heat)
1 cup water
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup fresh grated coconut or fresh frozen grated coconut that has been thawed
1/4 tsp mustard seeds
3/4 cup warm water
1 cup thick soured yoghurt (if your yoghurt is not sour, add some lime juice to it)

for the tadka

  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-6 fresh curry leaves
  • 2 dry red chillies, each cut into half

Take a medium size cooking pot and add the winter melon pieces along with the green mango (if adding) , green chillies,salt and the water. Cover and cook on low to medium heat for about 5/7 mins until you see that the melon pieces are cooked and soft. (Take care not to overcook or else they will become very mushy and not retain their firm texture). Turn heat off and set aside.

Now grind the coconut in a food processor with the mustard seeds using warm water until you get a creamy paste and the coconut is finely ground. Now to this paste add the yoghurt and blend again for 1 minute.

Pour the above coconut yoghurt mixture into the pot with the cooked winter melon (kumbalanga) and mix well. Put the pot back on the stove to heat for about 1 more minute. As soon as you see the mixture coming to a boil, turn the heat off and set aside. (Do not let the mixture boil for more than 1 minute as it will start to curdle)

For the final tempering (tadka)

Heat the coconut oil in a tadka pan (or any small pan).  When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds. When they start spluttering, add the curry leaves and dry red chillies. Turn heat off after 30 seconds and pour this tempered coconut oil mixture into the pot with the winter melon (kumbalanga).

Serve pachadi as a side dish with rice!

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0 thoughts on “Winter melon / Ash gourd yoghurt curry (Kumbalanga Pachadi)

  1. Pingback: Tangy Bitter gourd curry (Paavakka Varutharachathu) and a round up of Onam Sadya recipes – Indu's International Kitchen

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