Kholamba, a Low-Fat Vegetable Stew
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A sambar made in Konkani kitchens
Recipe type: Stew
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 8
  • ¾ cup tuvar dal (about 2 cups cooked). Boil with ¼ tsp turmeric until very tender and mushy.
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 cup red pumpkin cubes
  • 1 cup white pumpkin cubes
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 15 2-inch pieces of drumsticks (You can find these dark-green, ridged stick-like veggies, already cut up into smaller lengths, in the freezer at your Indian store. Indian drumsticks have nothing to do with chicken-- they grow on tall trees and are named thus because they are long and slender like the drum sticks a drummer would use. Drumsticks have great flavor that is ethereal in a sambar, but parts of a drumstick are not edible. You chew on the cooked drumstick to extract the flavor from the flesh and seeds inside, and throw away the hard part.)
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • For the masala:
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds (methi seeds)
  • 1 tbsp chana dal (Bengal gram dal)
  • 1 tbsp udad dal (black gram dal)
  • 2 dry red chillies
  • 1 1-inch-diameter ball of tamarind (make sure there are no seeds hiding inside)
  • ¼ cup coconut milk or 2 tbsp freshly grated coconut
  1. Heat a skillet, spray it with some oil, and then toast the ingredients (except the coriander), one by one, until they are a couple of shades darker and aromatic. Cool in a plate and transfer to a blender along with the tamarind.
  2. If you are using fresh coconut, toast it to a light brown shade. If you're using coconut milk, add it directly to the blender.
  3. Place all the prepped veggies, including the onion, in a microwave-safe dish, ad ¼ cup of water, cover loosely and zap for about 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is very tender. Set aside. You can do this on a stove-top as well.
  4. Blend the spices with enough water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
  5. Spray a saucepan with some oil and add the garlic and asafoetida. Saute, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute. Don't let the garlic turn dark brown or burn.
  6. Add the curry leaves and stir in. Now add the blended masala and let it come to a boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for five minutes.
  7. Add the cooked vegetables and the cooked tuvar dal. Bring the mixture to a boil and then let it all cook on low heat, about 10 minutes, for the flavors to meld. Add water if the stew is too thick.
  8. Add salt to taste. Serve hot over boiled rice.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 109 Fat: 2.4 grams Fiber: 4.4 grams Protein: 4.6 grams
Recipe by Holy Cow! Vegan Recipes at