Pumpkin and Smoked Pork

(Oma Bedort gwran jwng Jwgwnnath)

Pumpkin & Pork

A delicacy among the Bodo tribe of Assam, this pumpkin and smoked pork dish (Oma Bedort jwng Jwgwnnath jwng) features the best ingredients that are needed to bring a smile to everyone’s face. From the time I was introduced to this pork dish by my mother, I’ve always had a special place for it in my heart (and stomach). Whenever my mom would buy pork, I would try and persuade her to prepare it with pumpkin. After I had my first taste of sweet and sour pork (an Indian-Chinese preparation relished in the restaurants of Shillong, Meghalaya) I am told by my parents that I used to refer to this dish as the sweet and sour pork of the Bodos. I am so in love with this dish that I decided to add this pork and pumpkin dish to my marriage reception food menu. Serve it with flavourful rice (Jwsa mairongni wnkham) and lentil soup (dali) and this traditional dish will surely make your day bright like the sun!


  • 1 kg Smoked Pork
  • 250 gms Pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp Mustard oil
  • 2 large sliced Onions
  • 2 tbsp Garlic and Ginger Paste
  • 4 Green Chilli slit into halves
  • 1 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp Cumin Powder
  • 2 tsp Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Garam Masala
  • Wild Coriander Leaves (Gongar Dhunia as the Bodos call it)
  • Salt


  1. Boil the smoked pork in a vessel for around 10 min. Keep it aside. (The Bodos generally use pork which has been smoked over an open fire and subsequently sun-dried. I guess you can use any variety of smoked pork but this is the best kind for this preparation).
Boiled Smoked Pork
  1. Peel the pumpkin and cut it into 1 inch cube-sized pieces. (You can keep the seeds of the pumpkin aside to fry so that you can munch it while watching your next movie.)
  1. Keep an Indian wok (sarai, as the bodos call it) over medium heat and once the wok is hot, add the mustard oil.
  2. Once the mustard oil begins to smoke and the tantalizing aroma of mustard permeates the air, add the sliced onions, garlic and ginger paste and the slit chilli pieces.
Sliced Onions and Chilli
  1. As soon as the chopped onions and the paste starts browning, put in the different spices. (turmeric powder, cumin powder, chilli powder and garam masala)
  2. Once the spices have nicely blended and are cooked, add in the smoked pork. 
  1. Add enough salt to make the pork taste just perfect.
  2. Cover and let it cook for about 20 minutes.
  3. After the pork is partially cooked, add in the pumpkin pieces.
  1. Cover and let the pork and pumpkin cook in its delicious juices for another 20 minutes.
  1. After the 20 minutes are up, check if it is done – the fat should be gelatinous and the meat should be soft yet have a slight bite to it.
  2. Chop the wild coriander leaves finely and garnish the pork with it. 
  3. Take it off the heat and serve the pork piping hot with steamed flavourful rice and lentil soup.
    (Caution: The lentil soup is missing from the picture! Notice the raw onions, chilli and lemon slice that accompany the traditional Bodo meals.)