rinse the pumpkin well. then chop the pumpkin. avoid chopping in small pieces. you can remove the peel if you want. for this sabzi, i usually keep the peel.
heat 1 to 1.5 tablespoon oil. lower the flame and then add 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds and 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds. let the mustard seeds crackle and the cumin seeds also sizzle.
now add 1 sprig curry leaves (10 to 12 curry leaves), and 1 green chili (chopped), 3 to 4 crushed garlic with their peels and a pinch of asafoetida. you can also add 1 dry red chili (broken and seeds removed) instead of green chili. stir well.
then add the chopped pumpkin.
add a generous pinch of turmeric powder and salt as per taste. stir and mix well.
cover the pan with a rimmed lid and pour water on the lid. the water in the lid, creates steam in the pan and helps in cooking the pumpkin.
on sim or a low flame, cook the pumpkin. do check at intervals of 4 to 5 minutes. if you see the pumpkin getting browned, then sprinkle some water in the pan. usually the pumpkin does not get browned. but depending on the type and quality of pan, the pumpkin cubes can get browned. the water should not dry out in the lid. if the water dries out, then add more water.
when the pumpkin cubes are cooked and softened, add 1/4 cup grated coconut. mix well.
switch off the flame. keep the pan covered. after 5 minutes add 1 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves. mix well.
serve pumpkin bhaji with dal-rice, sambar-rice or chapatis.