The National Vegetable of India

Bhoplyachi Bhaji (pumpkin curry) is a childhood favorite of mine and I relish every bite of the curry, every single time I make it! Growing up in India, I only knew of one type of squash – the pumpkin, known as “Bhopla” in my mother tongue, Marathi or “Kaddu” in Hindi, which happens to be the national vegetable of India. After moving to the US, I learned about the several other varieties that are available throughout the fall and winter months. I’ve been experimenting with various squash varieties and creating a range of dishes in my kitchen over the years. One such delicious experiment was this Indian Acorn Squash Curry, that I made by converting my mom’s recipe for Bhoplyachi Bhaji by substituting pumpkin with acorn squash.

Indian Acorn Squash Curry

The Acorn Squash 

After becoming comfortable working with various types of squash, I decided to use one of them to modernize a traditional Maharashtrian pumpkin curry, a beloved dish from my childhood. This curry holds a special place in my heart, as my mom lovingly prepares it for me whenever I’m back home in Pune. In this updated version, I replaced the cubed pumpkin with sliced acorn squash.

Indian Acorn Squash Curry

Like the original recipe, the acorn squash is gently simmered in a spicy and sweet curried broth until it becomes soft and tender. The sweetness of the broth comes from jaggery and freshly grated coconut, while hot Indian red chili powder and the classic ‘Maharashtrian Goda/Kala Masala‘ provide the spicy kick. Crushed roasted peanuts add a delightful crunch, and a garnish of cilantro not only enhances the flavor but also adds a beautiful green contrast.

Elevating the Humble Recipe

The acorn squash works wonderfully in the traditional curry, elevating the humble recipe to a whole new level. I love how beautiful and elegant the crescent-shaped rings of the acorn squash look in the rustic curry. Since the squash is cooked with the skin on, it has a slight bite to it, adding a new depth of flavor and texture to the dish.

Indian Acorn Squash Curry

Whether served with roti or steaming basmati rice, this hot ‘n’ sweet curry makes a great accompaniment! I’ve linked a short video below that I put together for you that you can follow and easily whip up this signature concoction in your own kitchen.

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Indian Style Acorn Squash Curry

  • Author: Vasanti
  • Yield: Serves 2


A traditional Indian-Maharashtrian sweet and spicy pumpkin coconut curry made with acorn squash in place of pumpkin.


  • 1 medium acorn squash, washed, ends trimmed, seeds removed and cut into 1/2 inch thick slices
  • 2 tbsp neutral cooking oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/4 tsp asafoetida
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp regular Indian red chili powder or as needed
  • 1 tbsp ground jaggery
  • 23 tbsp coarsely ground roasted peanuts
  • 1–2 tsp Maharashtrian Kala/ Goda masala (homemade or store-bought)
  • salt, to taste
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut, fresh or frozen thawed, divided
  • 45 sprigs of fresh cilantro/coriander, chopped for garnishing


  • Heat oil in a deep sauté pan with lid (use some kind vessel with a lid). Add mustard and cumin seeds along with the turmeric powder and asafoetida.
  • When the seeds splutter, add the squash slices and give it a quick stir. Pour in the water.
  • Season with red chili powder, ground jaggery, ground roasted peanuts, goda/kala masala and salt . Add about half of the grated coconut, reserving the other half for garnishing later.
  • Stir to combine well and cook covered for 8-10 mins on medium heat, stirring once in a while, till the squash is well cooked.
  • Garnish with fresh cilantro and grated coconut. Serve hot with rotis or steamed basmati rice.

Keywords: Weeknight Cooking, Quick & Easy, Maharashtrian Recipes, Family Recipes, Healthy Recipes

Step-by-Step Details

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Hi I’m Vasanti
…and I ❤️cooking ‘n clicking!!
I share a modern take on Indian cuisine made using nontraditional techniques and ingredients, while staying true to its authenticity. You’ll also find classic recipes from my beloved Maharashtrian culture and heritage.


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