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Easy Sweet and Sour Pumpkin Curry | Khatta Meetha Kaddu

Give the good ol pumpkin an upgrade with this Indian spiced, sweet and sour pumpkin curry. Popularly known as khatta meetha kaddu and served best with hot off the press pooris.

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Pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin pie, pumpkin chili…and so on. It’s pumpkin season and there is no looking back. I’m not much of a pumpkin fan and have not had even a single pumpkin spice latte in my life…there I said it. Please don’t judge! I love these pumpkin spiced pancakes but that is pretty much it. This sweet and sour pumpkin curry aka khatta meetha kaddu is a whole different story. This kaddu (literally means pumpkin) served with soft, fluffy pillowy pooris is a resident at the top floor of my flavortown skyscraper. Legit!

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin

Pumpkin Curry?

Ask away. I am not really sure about the origins of this dish but as I have told you guys earlier that I am ¼ himachali (my maternal grandmother was from the northern state of Himachal Pradesh in India) and I believe that this dish has himachali roots. My mom always made this sweet and sour pumpkin curry and served it with poori which is a deep fried whole wheat flatbread (recipe for another day, see pictures). It is traditionally made with the yellow cooking pumpkin. But I have also made it with rampicante squash and butternut squash will also work great for this recipe. 

A dish fit for the Gods

This sweet and sour pumpkin curry is made without any onion and garlic also known as saathvik recipe, which means that it can be a part of a meal prepared to offer to the Gods during a religious ceremony or festival. This recipe is also famous in Benaras or Varanasi, the spiritual capital of India. It is said that no pooja/worship meal is complete in Benaras without serving khatta meetha kaddu. Such is it’s popularity.

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin

Sweet and Savory/Khatta Meetha?

The sweet and sour notes in this recipe are achieved by adding Gudh (sweet jaggery) and imli (sour tamarind paste). Jaggery is a traditional cane sugar which is a concentrated product of sugarcane juice. If you cannot find jaggery, shakkar or brown sugar can be a close substitute. Tamarind is also a traditional spice and has a distinct flavor and tartness. Close substitutes would be amchoor (dry mango powder), anaardana (dry pomegranate seeds powder) or even lime juice. 

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin_With Poori_FI

Recipe run down

I know I say with many recipes but this one is a pretty simple one. Since we are not adding any onion or garlic, the only aromatic needing prepped is ginger. Other than that, we make a tadka/tempering with cumin, fennel and fenugreek seeds along with spices like turmeric, red chili, and coriander powders. Chopped kaddu/pumpkin, jaggery and tamarind along with some salt and that’s it. Cook, mash a little and serve sprinkled with some fresh chopped cilantro.

Here’s your handy dandy printable:

5 from 4 votes

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin Curry | Khatta Meetha Kaddu

Give the good ol pumpkin an upgrade with this Indian spiced, sweet and sour pumpkin curry. Popularly known as khatta meetha kaddu and served best with hot off the press pooris.
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Keyword Curry, Curry Recipe, Easy Recipe, Glutenfree, Main dish, Pumpkin, Sweet and Sour, Vegetarian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Vaishali


  • 1.5 lb Pumpkin/Kaddu see notes
  • 3 tbsp ghee see notes
  • 1 in piece of ginger minced or paste
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp asafoetida heeng
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder
  • Water
  • 1 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp powdered jaggery
  • Salt to taste
  • 4-5 sprigs of cilantro leaves stripped and chopped


  1. Cut the pumpkin into small cubes and mince ginger or make a paste using a mortar and pestle. See notes.

  2. Set a heavy bottomed pan/kadaahi/wok on medium high heat and heat the ghee. Add the fenugreek seeds and wait for them to deepen in color (do not brown), about 5 seconds.

  3. Now add the fennel seeds and cumin seeds along with asafoetida.
  4. Once the seeds start to crackle, add the red chilli, turmeric and coriander powders along with the prepped ginger.
  5. Cook until the raw smell of ginger goes away (about 30 seconds) and add about ½ cup water
  6. Once the water is heated up, add the cubed pumpkin and salt to taste. Mix everything well and let the pumpkin cook covered with a lid for about 15-20 minutes, stirring in-between.
  7. When the pumpkin is soft, add jaggery and tamarind paste. Mix and simmer for another five minutes. During this time, you can also use the back of your ladle to mash some of the pumpkin pieces.
  8. Give a taste check and adjust salt, jaggery and tamarind, if needed.
  9. Turn the heat off, add chopped cilantro and serve warm with pooris.

Recipe Notes

If you cannot find yellow cooking pumpkin, you can also use butternut squash or rampicante squash.

To make this vegan, you can use any neutral tasting oil. Mustard oil also works great in this recipe.

You can also use ½ tbsp of store-bought ginger paste.

Add jaggery and tamarind after the pumpkin is cooked to get the proper balance of sweet and sour.

Sweet and Sour Pumpkin

If you make this Sweet and Sour Pumpkin/Khatta Meetha Kaddu, please leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram and Facebook! I love to look through your creations!!

Love – Vaishali

Key Recipe Tools and Ingredients:

Jaggery:Tamarind Paste: Chopping Board:

Knife: Kadaahi/Wok


  1. film

    November 21, 2020 at 10:06 am

    5 stars
    I cannot thank you enough for the blog post. Want more. Rosene Harmon Mallissa

  2. tianna

    October 17, 2022 at 12:53 pm

    5 stars
    this sounds very delicious, I love the unique way of using pumpkin

    1. Vaishali

      October 17, 2022 at 4:04 pm

      Thanks Tianna! And it’s so simple!

  3. Fransic

    October 17, 2022 at 2:17 pm

    It looks so good and wants more recipes with pumpkin. I will add this to the list to try it. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Vaishali

      October 17, 2022 at 4:04 pm

      Thank You Fransic. I hope you enjoy it

  4. LaRena

    October 17, 2022 at 4:08 pm

    5 stars
    That sounds really tasty. I love curries and am excited to try this one.

    1. Vaishali

      October 18, 2022 at 5:26 pm

      Thank you. I hope you like it

  5. Kevin Foodie

    October 17, 2022 at 9:22 pm

    5 stars
    I love pumkin and butternut squach. Never thought of adding curry. I love the use of the tamarind paste for the sweet and sour flavor. I may not have access to all the ingredients, but would love to attempt making this recipe. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Vaishali

      October 18, 2022 at 5:26 pm

      Thanks Kevin. Let me know if you need suggestions for any specific ingredient substitutions.

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