King of Fall


I remember the first change of seasons in Boston…. Suddenly the air was chillier, the greenery was missing, all the restaurant Menus changed and lo and behold there was pumpkin everywhere in shapes and sizes , from the pumpkin spiced lattes to the pumpkin pies to the Halloween decorations

And then ..In October 2006.. I got it …Pumpkin is definitely the king of fall. The next September, I was at it myself, doing my own versions of pumpkin specials from achaari pumpkin raviolis to pumpkin rasam and the most selling pumpkin halwa bake with cardamom ice cream. In trying to marry these Indian flavor combinations with the American pumpkin , i realized that our “Kaddu” which undoubtedly ranks amongthe indian childs most hated dishes, has actually a lot to offer. When trying out various flavor combinations two dishes struck me the most to further establish the Indian expertise to deftly combine complex flavors

1.Pumpkin Elissery from kerala that gels the sweetness of coconut and pumpkin and then spikes it up with curry leaves and chilies.
2. Kumro chingri Botti a Bengali dish with prawns, potato and pumpkin scented with the quintessential Bengali spice mix, panchphoran
Oh of course.. now the medicinal properties to further have your buy in Pumpkin seeds /Pepitas have antioxidant and anti-diabetic qualities, these are roasted and eaten semi husked or de husked , these are crushed n rolled for pumpkinseed oil, a personal favorite of mine for fall salad dressings. Here’s a sweet recipe to close the pumpkin page

Ingredients:
• 2 cup grated white pumpkin
• 1 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup grated sugarless khova
• 2 tbsp ghee
• a pinch of cardamom seeds powder
• dry fruits - to garnish

Procedure:
• Squeeze out the water completely from the grated pumpkin.
• Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan and fry pumpkin till moisture is absorbed.
• Add sugar and cook till it is 3/4 th cooked
• Add sugarless khova & Cook till halwa consistency is reached.
• Add 1 tbsp ghee when the halwa starts leaving the sides of the pan.
• Sprinkle cardamom powder ,dry fruits and remove

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