Kumro Saaga

Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min
Kumro Saaga

Kumro Saaga

Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 15 min

About This Recipe

This pumpkin and greens side dish reminds me of soul-warming days spent at my grandmother's house. I have always relished the taste of her cooking and hope to, one day, pass on her cooking style and kitchen tips to my children. In an age of non-stick cookware, frozen veggies, and microwave meals, traditional recipes may sound like a lot of work, but fear not. This is an easy recipe, and one I often turn to, to rustle up a weekday lunch or dinner.

The Benefits

Pumpkins and their saaga (leaves) are rich in soluble fiber, which can help reduce the risk of cholesterol. They also offer vitamin B6 to soothe joint aches, manganese to manage mood swings, and vitamin A for immunity.

Note: I prefer tender pumpkin leaves since they cook faster. You need about 15-20 young leaves for this recipe. 

READ | GROW: Generational Greens


4 Servings
  • 3 packed cups (250 g) tender pumpkin leaves
  • 1 cup (100 g) pumpkin, peeled
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar, jaggery or coconut sugar

For the tempering

  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) mustard oil or canola oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 dry red chiles
  • 6-8 (15 g) garlic cloves, lightly smashed


  1. Step 1
    Finely chop the pumpkin leaves and cut the pumpkin into 2-inch cubes. Add the leaves and the pumpkin to a deep-bottom saucepan with turmeric, salt, and sugar. Add 1/2 cup of water, cover the pan, and cook on low heat for 12-15 minutes, until the pumpkin is soft and mushy.
  2. Step 2
    To make the tempering: In a small pan, heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to pop and crackle, add the red chiles and garlic and sauté until the garlic is slightly golden. Take the pan off the heat and drizzle the tempering over the cooked pumpkin and the greens. Mix and serve warm as a side dish with rice and lentils.

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About the author

 Shweta Mohapatra

Shweta Mohapatra

Shweta Mohapatra has over 15 years of visual design experience in television, film, print and digital media. She now documents the recipes and ingredients of eastern India’s Odia region across different mediums.
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