Pumpkin Goodness: Recipes That Go Beyond Pie

 

 

Fall is in the air and there is no better place to experience it, than here in Toronto.There are various shades of tinted amber, brilliant yellow and bright orange everywhere. I sit by my window and look out with a heart filled with gratitude as I admire nature’s canvas, painted ahead of me. The air is crisp and the falling leaves now bid adieu to summer.

 

And needless to say the colours resonate with “Pumpkin flavoured everything” I had stocked up on a few lovely field pumpkins that I came across at the fresh markets in our neighbourhood,with mental notes of umpteen recipes that leapt to my mind.

With Thanksgiving and Halloween around this time of the year, there seem to have Pumpkins galore everywhere. I have some wonderful memories of visiting pumpkin patches in New jersey and Toronto too, when my son was younger. The ones that I picked up recently were small in size and a bright orange in colour and the Pie Pumpkin variety. I quite enjoy cooking and baking with Pumpkin. This gourd takes a centre stage all through fall and into early winters and quite easily named as Autumn’s golden goodness.

My usual repertoire would consist of  stews, soups, pumpkin roasted in salads, cakes and some dips as I experimented last week. Infact I was just discussing a post festivity detox with a friends when I tested out a few of these recipes. Here is a roundup of some terrific ways of cooking Pumpkin and the best part is that these work well with both sweet and savoury. There really is no need to just stop at Pumpkin pie when you can go ahead and make up some of these delicious treats with Pumpkins!

1.Pumpkin Hummus:

Ingredients:

  • 1 small Field Pumpkin (cubed and roasted)
  • 2 tablespoon Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Chick pea Hummus (You may follow my recipe: wp.me/p2eASG-l0)
  • 1 pod garlic (minced)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh root turmeric or dry turmeric powder
  • dash of salt and pepper
  • Pinch of Sumac
  • 1 tablespoon feta cheese (crumbled)
  • Handful of walnuts (roasted)

Directions:

  1. Roast the cubed pumpkin in a pie dish along with a tablespoon of olive oil at about 180C for about 25 minutes.
  2. Cool it and lightly mash the roasted pumpkin.
  3. Add the hummus, balance olive oil, minced garlic and root turmeric and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper.
  5. Garnish with Sumac, crumbled feta and roasted walnut.

 

2. Roasted Pumpkin Soup: (Serves 4 portions)

 

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1  medium pumpkin
  • 1 carrot, peeled and cubed
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 50 grams cooked white cannellini beans
  • 2 cups (500ml) chicken stock, heated)
  • 1 onion, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 tablespoon thyme
  • 1/2 tablespoon crushed black peppercorns
  • 1 tablespoon sour cream

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Place all vegetables, garlic and onion in a medium baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, and roast till tender, about 30-40 minutes.
  2. In batches, blend roasted vegetables, chicken stock and pepper. Add some more stock as needed to reach desired consistency.
  3. Stir all batches of blended soup together in a bowl and serve immediately topped with a tablespoon of sour cream and freshly chopped parsley.

3. Pumpkin Spiced Cake:

Ingredients:

1 1/2  cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup Almond flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg powder
3 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 3/4th Cup pumpkin puree

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 175 C.
2.Grease a 9×13 non-stick baking pan or a 8 inch round baking tin.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: 2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar, 1 tsp baking soda, 2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp cinnamon.
4.In a second medium bowl, whisk together wet ingredients: 3 large eggs, 1 cup oil and the pumpkin puree till all the ingredients are well combined.
5.Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and whisk until smooth. Transfer to prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 min or until the centre comes out clean.
6.Let cake cool completely and dust some icing sugar and serve with some whipped cream.
Are you fond of baking and cooking with Pumpkins? Do share some of your favourite ways in the comments below. You know I would love to hear back from you.
Happy Baking!

Thai Red Curry with Shrimp: 30 Minute Meal

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My blog seems to be forming a pattern ,or so I think.

I tend to write-up a post that takes you on a food journey of sorts,perhaps a culinary trail,a visit to an exotic land coupled with a food demo and a recipe.These posts are then followed by a tried and tested recipe that I  have experimented with in my kitchen.Well I quite like this format as it gives the reader a variety and my aim of course is to take you down some parts unknown with a guide to some unique culinary attractions.

Now there is a section that I had been meaning to start off for sometime now and well here it is.I want to add-on some fuss free,easy to cook up,ready in 30 minute meals that have less prep time and aim at making weeknight less stressful for all of us.So here we go with the first of the recipes.This is my to go Curry in a hurry for times where the family is craving a good quick fix Asian delight.It is a meal by itself as I serve this up with some sticky Jasmine rice and if time permits a quick raw papaya salad to go along with it.

I’ve chosen to use a ready Red Thai Curry paste for this recipe.There are various brands available,all though I do make up a mean curry paste from scratch,which stays well once refrigerated. This curry has an assortment of fresh vegetables and do feel free to add some of your own choice.The baby aubergines are optional,all though they do add a great texture and bite to this Thai curry.The use of fresh Thai basil is quite important here as it highlights the flavour very well.Another key ingredient that balance’s out this dish really well is the Thai Fish sauce.Take care to measure the sauce out before adding it into the curry as it is quite strong. Last but not the least is a squeeze of lemon juice that adds some zing to the curry.You may even use chicken for this recipe. Continue reading