Pumpkin is such a versatile veg. I love it for it’s lovely sweet and earthy flavor. There are several kinds of pumpkins available in the market and my first love is the fresh tender kinds. But we have also gotten to celebrate the ripe kind during fall and the festival of Halloween. This humble fruit receives all the glory then, though I cook with pumpkin often and I am a big fan.

You would see my love for this vegetable in all of these recipes:

  1. Pumpkin cupcakes
  2. Pumpkin Mac and cheese
  3. Pumpkin Soup

Mum grows many varieties in her garden. Though we don’t get those gorgeous squash shaped or those gigantic orange-skinned pumpkins in India, I so love the varieties mum grows in her veggie patch. My favorite is the green-skinned variety because it is so easy to cut and cooks quickly. It is not very sweet and makes for an amazing base for my recipes. Here are some lovely clicks from her garden:

Green Pumpkin
White Pumpkin

This recipe is of an Indian veggie made with Pumpkin as its base. Pao bhaji is a quintessential Indian street food from Bombay and I love it for the combo of the spicy-buttery bhaji/gravy with butter laden, grilled paos. I love the Bombay style version too but I love this version too. I have turned this recipe into a super healthy version by replacing potatoes with pumpkin. I love making this version over the regular one. I love using it as a topping for my Bruschetta or eat it with my regular Pao buns. Either way, the combo is amazing.

COOKING TIME: 45-50 minutes

Pumpkin Pao Bhaji


  1. Pumpkin – ¾ cup, grated
  2. Carrots – 2, grated
  3. Cauliflower – ¼ cup, grated
  4. Potatoes – 2 medium, boiled
  5. Capsicum – 1, small
  6. Onion – 1, medium
  7. Tomatoes – 3, pureed
  8. Garlic – 2 pods
  9. Coriander leaves – a few, for garnish
  10. Basil Leaves – a handful
  11. Pao Bhaji Masala – 1 teaspoon
  12. Turmeric powder – 1 teaspoon
  13. Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  14. Red chili powder – ½ teaspoon
  15. Butter – 4 tablespoons
  16. Bruschetta – 6-8 pieces
  17. Salt – to taste


  1. Kadhai/wok
  2. Non-stick pan
  3. Potato masher


  1. Take all the vegetables and wash them well.
  2. Boil the potatoes and peel them.
  3. In a kadhai, add 2 tablespoons of butter and add finely chopped onion and garlic.
  4. Allow the onions to cook properly and turn slightly brown.
  5. Grate the pumpkin, carrot, and cauliflower and add it to the kadhai.
  6. Add some salt and let the veggies cook on low heat.
  7. Finely dice one small capsicum and add that as well.
  8. Puree the tomatoes and add them to the kadhai after some 3-4 minutes.
  9. Mash the boiled potatoes and add them to the kadhai.
  10. Mix everything well. Add red chili powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder to the kadhai.
  11. Add the pao bhaji powder. Also, add half a cup of water and let the bhaji cook for a few minutes.
  12. Now take a potato masher and mix everything well.
  13. Add some lemon juice and butter on top along with some finely chopped coriander leaves.
  14. Take a non-stick pan and heat the bruschetta on both sides with some butter.
  15. Now place the bruschetta on a serving tray, add some cooled bhaaji on top along with some onion slices and basil leaves.
  16. Serve hot.