Mashed Pumpkin Salad

Re-posting a recipe from the first week of this blog.

Mashed Pumpkin Salad

Time taken – 20 minutes

Serves – 4

Mashed pumpkin salad

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin – 250g
  • Coconut milk – 2 or 3 tbsp
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Onion – 1 medium sized, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime juice

Method

  1. Chop the pumpkin into chunks, does not need to be small, and leaving the skin on. Remove seeds and clean the chunks.
  2. Boil the pumpkin until it is tender and cooked, for around 15 minutes. Remove skin and mash the pumpkin.
  3. Add the coconut milk, green chillies, onion to the mashed pumpkin and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, according to your taste, as well as some lime juice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Pumpkin cutlet

For some odd reason, I posted this on Oct 28th instead of Nov 28th so I am re-posting it today. 

I guess I have some pleasant memories of Thanksgiving dinners of past years that I tend to personally take note of the day. Last year’s Thanksgiving dinner was a memorable one with three special friends at Mount Kilauea, after we watched the crater eruptions from a very safe distance. My very first Thanksgiving dinner, a little over a decade ago, was hosted by a special vegetarian couple so much so that Thanksgiving food for me has since meant an opportunity to explore creative ways of incorporating pumpkin into everything from starters to dessert. 

So, today, I will share another of my mother’s pumpkin recipes.

Pumpkin cutlet

Time taken: 30 mins

Makes 6

pumpkin cutletIngredients:

  • Pumpkin – 2 cups, ripe and boiled
  • Onion – 1, small
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Wheat flour – 3 tbsp
  • Bread crumbs
  • Low fat oil, for deep-frying

Method:

  1. Remove peel of boiled pumpkin and mash it in a bowl. Add a bit of salt.
  2. Finely chop up the onion and green chilli. Add them to the bowl of mashed pumpkin.
  3. Add the pepper to the bowl. Mix well.
  4. Divide the pumpkin mixture into six portions.
  5. Mix 3 tbsp of wheat flour in some water to make a watery batter.
  6. Dip the pumpkin ball in the batter and then roll it in the bread crumbs so that the pumpkin cutlet is well coated. Repeat for each of the 6 cutlets. Set aside on plate while the oil is heated for deep-frying.
  7. Heat the oil over low heat. Deep-fry the cutlets until they are golden-brown.
  8. Transfer to a plate lined with grease absorbing paper and serve hot.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Butternut squash and Green Peas Curry

Today’s recipe is one of my mother’s simple and delicious pumpkin recipes. The butternut squash is called the ‘Dubai pumpkin’ for some reason in the markets of Colombo.

Butternut squashButternut squash and green peas curry

Cooking time: 15 mins

Serves 3

Pumpkin and green peas curryIngredients:

  • Butternut squash or regular pumpkin – ½ cup
  • Green peas – ¼ cup
  • Onion – ½
  • Green chilli – 1
  • Ginger – 1”
  • Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves
  • Thin coconut milk – ½ cup
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp

Method:

  1. Peel the butternut squash and chop it up into smaller chunks.
  2. Heat 1 tbsp oil in pan and fry the chopped ginger, garlic, green chilli and onion for a min or two.
  3. Add the chopped butternut squash and green peas to the pan and stir fry for a few mins.
  4. Add the coconut milk to the pan, as well as salt to taste, and cook for about 10 mins.
  5. Add the pepper, when the milk is about to dry up, and remove the pan from stove.
  6. Garnish with coriander leaves, chopped onion and tomato and serve warm with rice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Spicy Pumpkin Tart

Today’s recipe is a pumpkin-centric fusion recipe of my mother.

Spicy Pumpkin Tart

Time taken: 1 ¼ hours

Serves 4

Pumpkin tartIngredients:

  • Wheat flour – 1 cup
  • Vegetable margarine – ¼ cup + 2 tbsp (sauce/ cream)
  • Pumpkin – 1 cup, boiled and mashed
  • Carrot – ½ , boiled
  • Beans – 4, chopped
  • Guava – ½ large or 1 medium-sized, chopped
  • Leeks – ¼, chopped
  • Capsicum or malu miris – 1, chopped
  • Green chillies – 2, chopped
  • Onion – 1, chopped
  • Ginger – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 tsp, chopped
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Vegetable stock – ½ tsp (optional)
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp (optional)
  • Low fat oil – 1 tbsp
  • Baking soda – ½ tsp
  • Tomatoes – chopped, for topping
  • Onion – chopped, for topping (optional)
  • Rosemary or mixed spice – 1 tsp
  • Water, as required

Method:

  1. Mix the flour, margarine, salt and a little water to make a dough. Knead to make it smooth and let the dough rest while making the tart filling.
  2. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan and fry the ginger and garlic first for a couple of mins.
  3. Then, add the chopped onion followed by the chopped vegetables. Stir fry for a few mins.
  4. Finally, add the boiled pumpkin and carrot as well as the guava. Mix well and continue cooking for about 5 mins.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. Remove pan from stove.
  6. Heat 2 tbsp margarine in a saucepan over low heat.
  7. Add 2 tbsp flour and add ½ cup of water to the saucepan. Stir, for about 10 mins, until it thickens to a cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and optional ½ tsp vegetable stock and 1 tsp crushed chillies.
  8. Transfer the vegetable mixture from the pan to the saucepan. Stir.
  9. Add ½ tsp baking soda to the saucepan. Mix well before removing sauce pan from stove.
  10. Roll out the dough and line the pie tray with the dough.
  11. Fill the tart base with the vegetable filling.
  12. Top with chopped tomatoes and optional chopped onions. Sprinkle 1 tsp of rosemary or mixed spice.
  13. Bake the tart at 220⁰C/428⁰F for 30 mins.
  14. Slice and serve warm.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Thosai with Sambhar

Today’s recipe is a meal that my mother often makes at home for dinner – Thosai with sambhar and sambal. This is a meal that can also be eaten at breakfast or lunch.

Thosai with Sambhar

(a) Thosai

Cooking time: 30 mins + soaking and fermenting time: 12 hours

Makes 20

Ingredients:

  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Ulunthu/ urad dal – 1 cup
  • Fenugreek – ¼ tsp
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Onion – small piece, chopped
  • Cumin – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp

Method:

  1. Soak the rice, dal and fenugreek for 6 hours.
  2. Drain the soaked mixture and wash it lightly.
  3. Put the mix in the blender together with the curry leaves, chopped onion and cumin, pepper and turmeric. Blend until the thosai batter has a consistency similar to that of pancake batter consistency.
  4. Transfer the batter to a bowl. Cover and let it ferment for another 6 hours.
  5. Add salt and mix before heating up the thosai pan or flat pan.
  6. Pour a large spoonful of batter and spread it out. Flip to the other side after a minute or two so that both sides are cooked well and have brownish tinges.
  7. Serve the thosai hot with sambhar and dried red chilli sambal.

(b) Sambhar

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serves 5 or 6

Ingredients:

  • Mysore dal – ½ cup
  • Brinjal – ½ cup, chopped
  • Beans – ½ cup, chopped
  • Carrot – ½ cup, chopped
  • Potato – 1 medium-sized, chopped
  • Pumpkin – ½ cup, chopped
  • Murungai Kai – ½ cup, chopped (optional)
  • Onion – ½, chopped
  • Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  • Tamarind extract – ¼ cup
  • Crushed chillies – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Pepper – ½ tsp
  • Garlic cloves – 2 or 3, crushed
  • Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
  • Coconut milk – ¼ cup
  • Salt, to taste

Method:

  1. Cook the vegetables, in a pan with 3 cups of water, for about 15 – 20 minutes on medium heat.
  2. Reduce heat and if water had dried up, add another ½ cup water.  Add the tamarind juice, mix well and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Add the crushed chillies, cumin, coriander and pepper powder, crushed garlic and turmeric powder to the pan. Mix well and cook for a few more minutes.
  4. Towards the end, add ¼ cup coconut milk. Cook for a few minutes before removing from heat.
  5. Serve sambhar with thosai or idli.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.

Mashed pumpkin salad

This is a simple and quick to prepare recipe of my mother’s, which is a huge hit with visitors. My mother generally likes experimenting. She can also replicate something she has once tasted. As this dish is something that falls under the two, I have labelled it under ‘Colombo’ (the city where different Sri Lankan cuisines meet) – which is also the city my mother has lived nearly three decades so far and where she feels most at home.

Mashed Pumpkin Salad

Time taken – 20 minutes

Serves – 4

Mashed pumpkin salad

Ingredients

  • Pumpkin – 250g
  • Coconut milk – 2 or 3 tbsp
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Onion – 1 medium sized, chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Lime juice

Method

  1. Chop the pumpkin into chunks, does not need to be small, and leaving the skin on. Remove seeds and clean the chunks.
  2. Boil the pumpkin until it is tender and cooked, for around 15 minutes. Remove skin and mash the pumpkin.
  3. Add the coconut milk, green chillies, onion to the mashed pumpkin and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper, according to your taste, as well as some lime juice.

Recipe source: Raji Thillainathan.