Wattakka Kalu Pol – Sri Lankan Red Pumpkin Curry

Srilankan Pumpkin Curry - Wattakka Kalu Pol
Srilankan Pumpkin Curry – Wattakka Kalu Pol

Ever since an childhood friend of my brother’s, SP, got us some (a lot, actually) roasted curry powder from Sri Lanka, I have been looking for ways to use it.

Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder
Sri Lankan Roasted Curry Powder

I had seen Peter Kuruvita‘s shows on TV, I looked up his site, and to my delight found this delightful Pumpkin Curry. A little more research and I realised that it was called Wattka Kalu Pol and this is my attempt to recreate this classic Sri Lankan dish.

To learn more about Sri Lankan cusine, do visit Ahila Thillainathan’s delightful blog, A Taste of Sri Lankan Cuisine.

You can also find a recipe for the Sri Lankan Curry Powder on her site.

Time: 40 Minutes

Serves: 4


  1. Red Pumpkin – 300 gms
  2. Onion – 1 Medium
  3. Thick Coconut Milk – 50 gms
  4. Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
  5. Raw Rice – 1 tsp
  6. Green Chilli – 1
  7. Cloves – 2
  8. Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
  9. Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
  10. Roasted Sri Lankan Curry Powder – 1 tsp
  11. Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  12. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  13. Curry Leaves – A Few
  14. Salt to Taste


  1. Dry roast the rice till it starts to turn brown.
  2. Dry roast the grated coconut till it starts to turn brown.
  3. Grind the roasted rice and coconut into a fine powder.
  4. Peel and chop the pumpkin into 1″ cubes.
  5. Peel and dice the onion into 1/4″  pieces.
  6. In a heavy-bottomed wok, over medium heat, heat the ghee.
  7. Add cloves and stir-fry for a minute.
  8. Add the finely diced onions, curry leaves, and slit green chilli.
  9. Stir-fry till onion starts to turn transparent.
  10. Add the coriander, cumin, roast Sri Lankan curry powder, turmeric and roasted coconut-rice powder.
  11. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the pumpkin pieces and mix well.
  13. Add enough water to cover the pumpkin pieces.
  14. Cook covered till the pumpkin pieces start to soften. Stir at regular intervals.
  15. When the pumpkin pieces are cooked, add the thick coconut milk and salt.
  16. Mix well. Add some water, if required.
  17. Bring to a gentle simmer.
  18. Turn off the heat.
  19. Let the Wattakka Kalu Pol rest for 30 minutes.
  20. Serve warm with rotis or parathas.


  • Be sure to check the pumpkin pieces at regular intervals. It can quite quickly turn from done to mush. The pumpkin piece is done when the spoon just cuts through it but there is a bit of resistance.
Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry - Wattaka Kalu Pol
Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry – Wattaka Kalu Pol


I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions. Do leave me a comment.