Kokharu Khatta (Pumpkin Chutney Odiya style)

Growing up I wasn't ever allowed to snub off any curry or veggie that was served. The house rule was you eat whatever is given, no excuses and no special meals for anyone. That forced my dad to try the dishes that mom grew up eating, mom learnt to cook the dishes dad grew up eating and I in turn got a peep of whatever both my grandma's cooked for my parents and their siblings.

My husband on the other hand was never forced into trying anything that they did not want to. As a result he missed out on many of the dishes which did not look alluring but tasted awesome. Kokharu Khatta or pumpkin chutney with black chickpea is one of those dishes that my mother-in-law prepares, but my husband had no recollection of eating. However when forced to try, he admitted that it tastes wonderful with dosa and uttapam and also as a side with rice and dal.

While preparing the chutney my mother-in-law shared one interesting fact about why many such vegetable chutneys are popular in the Puri-region in Odisha. Apparently the cuisine in that region has always been influenced by the food the Jagannath temple cooks, also known as Mahasauras, prepare for the "Mahaprasad" of  Lord Jagannath. Since it is against the temple rule to cook anything that is not indigenous, they abstain from cooking with vegetables like carrot, capsicum, French beans etc which are they believed to have been brought to India by the Britishers and other invaders who ruled India before them. Consequently the Mahasauras run into problem during the prolonged heavy monsoons when the only indigenous vegetables available are pumpkin, plantains, okra, pointed gourd and few others.  As they aren't ready to compromise on the number of items to be prepared at each meal they become innovative with their recipes and thus are born a range of pithas (rice flour cakes), khattas(chutneys) and  bodas (vegetable or lentil cakes) which dominate the cuisine in this part of Odisha.....
Mashed Pumpkin Chutney

Kokharu Khatta (Pumpkin Chutney Odiya style)
Pumpkin Chutney with black chickpeas prepared in Odiya style

Recipe by Swapnarani Khandai
Cook time: 25-30 minutes

  • 2 tablespoons kala chana (black chickpea)
  • 1 cup cubes pumpkin
  • ⅛ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1½ teaspoon vegetable oil
  • ¼ teaspoon panch phoran
  • 2 green chillies, split
  • 2 sprigs of curry leaves
  • 2 tablespoon shredded coconut
  • 5 dates, deseeded and chopped
  • ½ -1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon tamarind paste
  • ¼cup coconut milk
  • 2 teaspoon sugar(adjust the amount according to taste)
  • salt to taste
  • heaped ¼ teaspoon roasted cumin seed powder
Cooking Directions
  1. Soak kala chana or black chickpeas in warm water for atleast 2 hours. Drain and pressure cook the soaked chana with a pinch of salt. Keep the boiled chana aside.
  2. Put the cubed pumpkin in a pan. Pour enough water into the pan to cover the pumpkin pieces. Add a pinch of salt and turmeric powder to it. Cover and cook the pumpkin over medium low heat for about 10 minutes, until the pumpkin pieces are just cooked. Drain off the water and keep the cooked pumpkin aside.
  3. Heat the oil in a kadai or pan. Add panch phoran, split green chillies and curry leaves to the hot oil.
  4. When the seeds stop spluttering, add the cooked pumpkin, dates, shredded coconut and tamarind paste to the pan. Stir in the coconut milk, cover the pan and simmer till most of the liquid has evaporated.
  5. Then add the boiled kala chana and sugar, season with salt , stir in ¼ cup of water and simmer uncovered for about 8-10 minutes, until most of the liquid has evaporated and the flavors have come together. (If you like at this point you can add another  ¼ cup of water, mash the pieces of pumpkin and simmer a little longer until the chutney looks like a thick homogeneous paste. However traditionally, this is not done. According to my mother-in-law, people here like the chutney with chunks of pumpkin in it.. but as you can see in the photographs above, I prepare it either way. )
  6. Which ever way you choose to prepare, mashed or chunky , finally sprinkle the roasted cumin seed powder over it. Mix gently and switch off the heat. The chutney is now ready to be served.

You might also like....


  1. Your pumpkin chutney recipe sounds and looks delicious. I love to try and new and different recipe. Thank you for sharing with the Clever Chicks Blog Hop! I hope you’ll join us again next week!

    Kathy Shea Mormino
    The Chicken Chick

  2. Thank you Kathy. It is always a pleasure to join your party !

  3. I love anything with pumpkin, this chutney sounds amazing! I enjoyed the part about the innovativeness of the people in the Puri-region in Odisha, so creative. Thanks for sharing at What'd You Do This Weekend? I hope you will join us again this Monday!

    1. It really is interesting how people develop recipes in this part of India. The more I am learning, the more I am enjoying..

  4. Pumpkin my favorite, this pumpkin chutney Looks delicious, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop, pinning. tweeting and sharing it in google plus.

    1. Thanks Swathi. It is indeed delicious... and thank you so much for sharing.

  5. Your Pumpkin Chutney sounds delicious, Tanusree and I enjoyed reading the story behind the recipe. Thank you for sharing with us at the Hearth and Soul hop.

  6. Hi Tanu,
    Wow..very new and innovative recipe It looks delicious. Yum yum :)
    This chutney sounds super awesome and must try. I will be grateful if you can able to share pinterest link. I want to bookmark your this recipe..

  7. This looks delicious! So mouth watering. I will definitely try it this week. Can we use different vegetables? Will the ingredient's quantity be same?


Thanks for stopping by. It was nice having you here. Have a good day.

Take care and come back soon.
Best, Tanusree

Like us



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...