Spicy Squash – Kaddu Ki Subji

Spicy Squash - Kaddu Ki Subji

Spicy Squash

This is a north Indian dish, spicy, sweet and sour taste all in one. Typically this dish is served with puri and kachori (puri stuffed with urad dal).
4.80 from 5 votes
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Servings 2 people


  • 4 cups sliced squash, I am using acorn squash ladoo
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • 1/8 tsp asafetida hing
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds jeera
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds methi dana
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder dhania
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds coarsly ground saunf
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric haldi
  • 1 tsp chili powder adjust to taste
  • 1/2 tsp peprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 whole dried red chilies
  • 1 tbsp shredded ginger
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp mango powder
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro hara dhania


  • Peel and cut the squash into cubes. Save about ¼ of the squash peel and chop them.
  • In a small bowl, mix the shredded ginger, coriander powder, funnel, red chili powder, paprika, turmeric, and ¼ cup of water to make a paste.
  • Heat the oil in a pan. Test the heat by adding one cumin seed to the oil; if seed cracks right away oil is ready. Add cumin seeds and asafetida after seeds crack add fenugreek seeds and red chilies and stir for a few seconds.
  • Add the spice paste and stir-fry for a minute until spices start leaving the oil.
  • Add the squash, squash peels, salt, and ¼ cup of water. Mix well. Cover the pan and let it cook on medium heat until the vegetables are tender. Squash will be semi mushy.
  • Make sure to stir gently every 3 to 4 minutes. Check if more water needed.
  • Lastly, add the mango powder, sugar and chopped cilantro. Mix everything and cover for a minute. Adjust the salt to your taste.


Tips: I have used acorn squash but any squash can be used whatever is available for example banana squash, butternut squash, buttercup squash etc. The only one I know does not work is spaghetti squash and pumpkin.
Suggestion: The recipe is with many blends of spices and great aroma makes a great dish to serve with plain rice. Just make the dish with extra gravy by adding more water on step 9. Serve with Puri, in North India Spicy Squash served with Urad Dal Puri. 
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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70 thoughts on “Spicy Squash – Kaddu Ki Subji

  1. I LOVE this Kaddu ki subji spicy acorn squash! I make it once a week. Every week! I am a vegetarian and I am allergic to wheat, barley, DAL, lentils, and beans. I thank you for making vegan and vegetarian recipes that are without lentils, DAL, bean or wheat! So many Indian foods use these ingredients and I can not eat them or I have to go to the hospital for 2 weeks. Thank you for making kaddu ki subji! I seriously wish I could hug you! I make this recipe and your louki gourd recipe once a week. Every week. I made it for my friends and my in-laws and they loved it!

  2. Absolutely delicious and easy recipe, Manjulaji. I prepared with little or no sugar because squash is often already quite sweet. Thanks as always for your lovely recipes….

  3. LOVE LOVE LOVE this dish Manjula. It is so aromatic and tantalizes my tongue with sweet and spicy and sour tastes. Thank you so very much. The whole family loved it so much that it will be a regular preparation in my house from now on.

  4. Absolutely DELICIOUS! I doubled the recipe (but scaled the oil back to 1.5 tablespoon and used only 2 tablespoons of sugar) and used butternut squash. This dish is definitely going to become a regular in my menu rotation!

    1. This is the second time making it and it won’t be the last. Also doubled the recipe and used butternut squash. Added no sugar, besides the sweets included in the squash. Just found some amchoor powder while dumpster diving – awesome.

  5. Many thanks Manjula! I’ve done this squash three times with butternut, delicatta, and red curry pumpkin and they’ve all be fabulous! I was short on amchur so i used a little anardana and pomegranate molasses! You should give that a try!

  6. Hi – This recipe looks lovely. Thinking of making it for a broup of about 12-14 people. Wondering if you have an idea of how many people the recipe serves as a side dish/Subji?

    Thank hou!!

  7. Just made your spicy squash dish. It was absolutely delicious!

    However, I made two changes: I reduced the amount of sugar and I did not use lemon juice at all, only amchur.

    Thanks so much for the recipe.

    Will try another one of your your recipes tomorrow!

  8. Thank you for your extraordinary Indian recipes! I made your Spicy Squash tonight and it was delectable ! Could I substitute chunked pineapple instead of the mango powder and sugar? I look forward to making more of you fabulous recipes.
    Ciao from Sicily.

  9. I made the spicy squash recipe tonight and absolutely loved it!! Do you think instead of the mango powder and sugar, I could substitute pineapple chunks?? I loom forward to the joy of cooking more of your delicious recipes! Ciao from Italy!!

  10. I wanted to thank you so much for your recipes! I don’t know what I would do without your site. I’m American and my husband is from Gujarat, India. When I married him I did know how to cook, but I was taught how to cook with meat, so my dishes where limited. Thanks to your site, I know what to cook for him 🙂 Thanks so much! This one was one of my Favorites.

  11. This is a delicious recipe, I have cooked it several times.

    In the recipe list it mentions lemon juice, and its shown in the recipe but it isn’t in the description. As thats what I actually cook it from, you may want to add it.

    keep up the fantastic work!

  12. What sorts of squash can be used? Are acorn or butternut acceptable?(not sure if Kaddu is available in all seasons at neighborhood Indian stores, or what its local name is).

  13. Dear Aunty Manjula,
    thank you for your recipes they are all delicious, I impress all my indian friends with your recipes and they have no idea how I learn to cook indian food so well.

  14. Hey,
    I made this last night but I didn’t have any Mango Powder – I substituted some actual fresh mango, it wasn’t near ripened but hard so good for cooking. It tasted great with this curry.

    I’m just wondering what mango powder actually tastes like and if by using fresh mangos I got a similar flavour? either way, tasty tasty!


    1. Hi Marcus – I can’t say what it would have tasted like using fresh mango in this dish but if it worked out ok and you liked it then that’s all that matters. Sometimes substituting can give you good results.
      However, mango powder or “amchur” powder is used to give “tang” to a recipe and it’s got a sour / tangy quality to it. A tablespoon is a fair amount in the recipe so if you can find it sometime, definitely try it. Amchur and lemon as used together in this recipe – will give it a slightly sour / tangy quality. I hope that this helps!

  15. Dear Manjula Aunty,

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. I made this last night and it was very delicious. My husband who generally hates squash liked this dish very much.

    Thank you once again for posting this wonderful recipe.

  16. Manjula,

    I have to say that this is probably my favourite ever Indian recipe. I have made it twice now, both times with butternut squash, and it’s quite delicious.

    Thanks for your fantastic site!


  17. the spicy squash is wonderful.. i loved it.. although i made few changes- used very little oil and just 1/2 teaspoon stevia added to 1 1/2 teaspoon aamchur powder and made it a little hot with more red chilli powder.. it was excellent.. the basic idea of ginger paste made all the difference!!!

  18. I made this dish tonight using chayote or as we call them in Australia, chokoes. I sampled the dish before I added the mango powder and sugar and was a bit concerned. I couldn’t believe the difference adding these ingredients at the end made. Delicious! Thanks Manjula.

    1. Hi Lesley, you have discovered one of the quirks of Indian cooking. It’s not done until it’s done! Unlike Italian or other cuisines, Indian dishes almost always taste bad until the dish is finished and everything has been added. Taste testing as it cooks doesn’t work. Glad it was all good in the end! 🙂

  19. I made this today and it tasted very good. I, however, did not use the peels because I wanted a soft sabji dish without anything chewy in it. But the flavors were great.

    Note to others, acorn squash is tough to cut. Use a sharp knife and be careful to not let the knife slip and cut yourself. I used a vegetable peeler to cut away the skin.

  20. Dear Manjula aunty,

    Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Really simple and tasty. I tried a small variation by substituting jaggery for sugar and it came out tasty too.

    Your website is wonderful with the videos that makes it almost as good as someone standing beside us and helping us cook.

    Thanks for all your efforts.

  21. Is the squash peel necessary? It seems like it would be chewy and not soft like the rest of the squash. Please reply if you have made this dish with the peels. Thanks.

  22. Hi Mrs. Manjula,

    I just made this tonight for my wife and it was great. This is the first time I have ever tried to cook an Indian dish. I followed your directions carefully, and found the video to be very helpful. I’m looking forward to trying some of your other recipes in the future. Thanks for sharing your recipes and videos!

  23. Hi Aunty,

    I tried this recipe yesterday and it came out wonderful. I added in some onions. .I like your presentation, simple and clear.

    Thanks for all the recipes.

  24. Delicious! I made this tonight with some chickpeas, chapatis and pickles. And I have some left to have tomorrow with some pooris!
    Thanks for this recipe.

  25. Hello Aunty, Thank you for all your awesome recipes here. I must admit I’ve learned a lot from you. Could you please post a recipe for cauliflower curry? Dry cauliflower would also work. Thanks again.

  26. Thank You Aunty for a different n yummy recipe..
    i want to share my experience ..i had a huge problem cutting the hard squash..i googled it..
    To make the squash easier to cut, pierce the skin in a few spots, place it in a microwave oven and heat on high for 2 minutes. Let stand for another few minutes before carving.
    Thank you again Aunty

  27. Hi,
    I made this dish and it came out very well, thanks for the recipe. Please keep posting new recipes, I have learnt to cook a lot of things from your website.

  28. This is delicious! I made it last night substituting mustard seeds for the fenugreek and left out the mango powder. I also used 1 tbs half maple syrup and 1 tbs sugar. It was so good – we couldn’t stop eating it! This is my new favorite!

  29. Manjula aunty – I just made this spicy squash tonight with butternut squash and it was absolutely wonderful! I increased the water as you suggested to serve it over rice. Thanks for another great recipe!

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