Pumpkin Sambhar ~ Literally!

During my short break from classes, I am having a blast just going to work and coming home — sometimes even having a day off like today. I was poking around for something to do with a leftover ‘pie pumpkin’ from the fall. After Halloween, a local farm stand had these for fifty cents apiece and I couldn’t resist — I bought three. Two went out to the deer.

two fawns
two fawns at the bird feeder in broad daylight ~ that’s how cold it is and how hungry they are

With the last pumpkin, I thought I might make this pumpkin soup in a pumpkin.

As usual when I have time on my hands (a rare occurrence these days!), my mind started turning after reading the recipe. I decided it would be far more fun to make sambhar. OK, I know, when is it NOT more fun to make sambhar? Never! But this sambhar is baked in the pumpkin.

I made a regular onion sambhar with some carrot as well. I added fennel seeds and fresh garlic to the usual tadka, and a pinch each of ginger powder and nutmeg powder with the sambhar powder. A little extra tamarind water offset the sweetness of pumpkin. I made the sambhar on the stovetop, but did not cook the veggies all the way. I hollowed out the pumpkin, rubbed it with oil outside, and filled it with the half-done sambhar. Baked in a 350F oven for about two hours, the sambhar came out delicious. The fringe benefit was the pumpkin bowl — its softened insides bathed in all the spices and just waiting to be scraped out into the sambhar. A little bit of trouble but well worth it!

pumpkin and onions
hollowed out pumpkin with unusually small regular yellow onions ~ I treated them as sambhar onions and they worked perfectly

sambhar ~ ready to bake in a pumpkin
all ready to bake ~ I covered the pumpkin with its natural lid for the first hour ~ then removed the lid and baked an hour longer

voila ~ sambhar in a pumpkin!
voila! sambhar in a pumpkin bowl ~ perfect comfort food for the cold weather


  1. indosungod said

    Sambhar in a Pumpkin. Only you could think of that πŸ™‚ But totally creative and I bet delicious.

    The link you have for the soup is from my county (trying to preserver farm land alliance).
    Heard that frigid temperatures (frigid enough for MN to close schools) are coming your way – ours too. Stay warm.

    Hi ISG — you stay warm too! I think we are in for a big winter all over the east coast and midwest, too. I saw the original recipe was from MD and thought you might have seen! The trouble is the pumpkin ate up all the sambhar liquid — another time I would add 4x the chiles. You’d like that πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

  2. sra said

    This is ingenious. I love the idea!

    I can’t take credit for the pumpkin bowl but sambhar inside it? maybe… so nice to see you sra! πŸ™‚

  3. shyameds said

    Wow, talk about innovative! πŸ™‚ Baked sambar HAS to be unique! πŸ™‚

    lol shammi you always make me feel so creative… I just take a leap of faith every time I hit the kitchen! πŸ˜‰

  4. BDSN said

    Hey Linda I have missed the olden days too…lots of fun creativity and blogging kept me busy but now it is the reverse Anyway will surely keep in touch . Btw sambhar in a pumpkin very interesting

    Hi, BDSN!! Wow so happy to see you, I will have to follow the link to your site. I have been so crazy with moving and school, but still have a couple of days off to see what you’re up to. Please do stay in touch even if it’s only when you can steal a moment, we all love to hear from you! πŸ™‚

  5. Vani said

    Pumpkin sambar in a pumpkin – what a lovely way to present the sambar! Good luck with the studies – go get that degree, Linda! You will rock it. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family!

    Thanks for the encouragement, Vani — so nice to see you! Wishing the same to you and your dear ones πŸ™‚

  6. Nupur said

    How clever of you, Linda! And you’re so nice to leave pumpkins out for the poor hungry dears- deer, I mean πŸ™‚

    Ah, Nupur — those dear deer did indeed enjoy the pumpkins! Happy to see you as always πŸ™‚

  7. mandira said

    what a great idea Linda, love the pumpkin bowl. Hope you had a wonderful holiday season.

    Thanks Mandira! Wishing you and your family a very happy and healthy new year! πŸ™‚

  8. masalamagic said

    Its been such a long time Linda!!! And I am so glad you are still blogging πŸ™‚ Good to be reading your posts! Love the life in them..I am back with time on my hands. Hope you remember me. Love the sambar in the pumpkin πŸ™‚ Only you can think of this!

    Latha, no, it cannot be you!!?? Of course I remember you!! I am so happy to see you here!! πŸ™‚ I haven’t had much time to visit around between work and school, but hope that will change soon. Have you reinvented your blog with this time on your hands? πŸ™‚ Thanks for stopping!

  9. sb2711 said

    πŸ˜€ very interesting!

    Thank you Sucheta! πŸ™‚

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