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5 from 1 vote

Kholamba, a Low-Fat Vegetable Stew

A sambar made in Konkani kitchens
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Stew
Cuisine: Indian
Servings: 8
Calories: 109kcal


  • 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


  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Blend the spices with enough water to make a smooth paste. Set aside.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Add salt to taste. Serve hot over boiled rice.


Calories: 109kcal | Protein: 4.6g | Fat: 2.4g | Fiber: 4.4g