Kumro Pata Torkari or call it Kumro Pata Chorchori is a quintessential Bengali pure veg curry, prepared with assorted veggies and pumpkin leaves along with pumpkin stems. It is a simple comfort meal when paired with rice. Very mildly spiced like most vegetarian dishes in Bengali cuisine. You can prepare the same dish using squash or zucchini stems/stalks and leaves.
What is Kumro Pata Torkari ?
Kumro means pumpkin, pata means leaves and torkari means curry. The dish is also referred to as Kumro Data Torkari, where data refers to the stems or stalks.
Not many people are aware that both Pumpkin stems and leaves are edible and delicious. It is used in various different ways in Bengali meals.
What I am sharing today is a simple pumpkin leave recipe Bengali style, and will be sharing more dishes using these leaves and stems.
Pumpkin is one of my fav vegetables and I planted the seeds mainly to enjoy the blossoms and hopefully pumpkin too during Fall. What I had completely forgotten is how tasty these stems and leaves are. My Mom reminded me of the Kumro Pata torkari that she used to make quite often. So, I gave it a go. And the entire meal took me back home.
Ingredients for Kumro Pata Torkari
- Pumpkin leaves and stems – Use both the tender and the big ones
- Nigella seeds
- Bengali Bhaaja Moshla (recipe here). It’s a mix of coriander, cumin and fennel powder
- Green chili
- Mustard oil or regular vegetable oil
You can definitely prepare the same dish using squash or zucchini stems/stalks and leaves. The taste will obviously differ very mildly.
How to trim the Pumpkin leaves (Kumro Pata/ Kumro Data)
Keep in mind that the pumpkin stems are little prickly. So definitely wear a glove.
You want to trim the secondary vines from the main vines.
Pruning pumpkin stems and leaves will allow more air flow to the center of the plant and better growth.
Preparing the stems or the stalks before cooking the Kumro Pata Chorchori
The stems are prickly and needs some time to prep. The stalks or the stems are hollow like straws. And you need to gently peel off the outer prickly layer.
It’s easy with a small paring knife. Once that layer comes off, the kumro data (stems or stalks) will feel smooth.
Growing pumpkin plant is super easy and to my biggest surprise it didn’t even need any fancy soil or fertilizer. I just planted the seeds from randomly on an empty patch in the back yard and in about four months, it’s gone completely wild. No complain, loving every bit of it.
This simple Kumro Pata Torkari or Kumro Para Chorchori is a simple one pot means that comes together in less than 30 minutes. If you can find some of the leaves or stems in the farmers market or you are lucky enough to grow it, then do give this Bengali recipe a try.
Here are other Bengali recipes to try!
Kumro Pata Torkari
- 12 big pumpkin stems/stalks along with the leaves
- 1 small eggplant (…)
- 1 small potato (…)
- 2 green chili
- 1 tablespoon mustard oil
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon Bengali Bhaaja Moshla (recipe link in NOTES BELOW)
- Using a paring knife, peel the outer prickly layer of the pumpkin stems/stalks. Then cut the stalks into 1 and ½ inch length.
- Roughly chop the pumpkin leaves
- Peel the potato and cut into wedges. Also slice the eggplant into wedges.
- Finely chop one green chili and the second one, slit in half
- In a heavy bottom wok at medium heat, pour the oil. If you are using mustard oil, it’s important to let it heat to a smoking point. Then add the nigella seeds and stir it around.
- Add the potatoes along with half of the salt and turmeric. Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the eggplants and let it cook for 5 minutes.
- Drop the stalks, the leaves, finely chopped green chili along with the Bengali Bhaaja Moshla and the remaining salt plus turmeric. Stir it around and cook for 5 minutes.
- Pour 1 and ½ cup water, the slit green chili and stir it around. Cook for 5 minutes. Once the potatoes have softened, check for salt and add more if needed.
- Enjoy the Kumro Para Torkari with steamed white rice.
I have to admit that I had no idea that pumpkin leaves and stems were edible. Nice thing to know! Great dish, wonderful flavors and so different from anything I've ever had. Thanks for sharing!