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:


  • 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)


  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)



  • 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


  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:


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


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!

Tried & Tested Hazelnut Torte

Looking for a simple and delectable dessert to serve at your next dinner? Look no more as I have the perfect one for you. How would you define simple? Well let’s put it this way…Easy and Uncomplicated…And I’d like to add, delightful to the last crumb. There’s no other way to describe this little piece of heaven.

Yes I must admit hazelnuts have been doing the rounds in my kitchen quite often lately. They are right here in this wonderful hazelnut torte, made some lovely Hazelnut-almond cookies too last week and they even went into a grilled chicken last night. And yes those recipes are coming up soon too.

I’m a huge fan of hazelnuts…especially when they are toasted…MMMM Sweet, crunchy & nutty. Now I call this a tried and tested recipe as I’ve made this very often .It has been adapted from http://www.Jamie Oliver.com Hazelnut Torte with some variations .I’ve omitted the poppy seeds and have just added a bit more of the powdered hazelnuts .This torte is a treat at all times and have baked it often to take over for friends as well.

What does one do for frosting?
It actually tastes lovely just plain with some crème fraiche. On one occasion I used a lovely dense chocolate ganache over it and it turned out sinful. The last time I had a friend over I just grated some chocolate over it and drizzled it with some fresh homemade lemon syrup. This took the flavor’s to another level I must say. Thanks Tinu Varma for this wonderful suggestion. I’d say choose what you like to dress this up…

115 grams butter
135 grams hazelnuts(toasted,peeled & powdered)
125 grams sugar
4 large eggs
30 grams plain flour
125 grams Ricotta cheese
A pinch of salt
Pre-heat the oven to 190 C.
Grease a 11 inch loose bottomed cake tin and line it with parchment paper.
Roast the hazelnuts on a pan for about 10-12 minutes or untill the skin peels off.
Cool and then put them into a food processor and powder them.
Take care not to over process.
Now beat the butter and sugar together until pale.
Next add in the egg yolks one at a time.
Seive in the flour and crumble in the Ricotta cheese as well as add in the powdered hazelnuts.
In a seperate bowl beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till they are stiff.
Gently fold into the hazelnut mixture.
Pour into the cake tin and bake in a pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes or untill the top of the torte is light brown in color.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack.

Either ways this one’s a winner.
Try it out dear friends and you won’t be disappointed.

Cheers to a fabulous day and happy baking:)

Baba Ghanoush

ImageThis is a wonderful dish made from grilled eggplants.It has a strong smoky flavour especially if the eggplants have been grilled on a charcoal barbecue.

I often serve this a dip with toasted pita bread.However it could also be used as side dish or even a salad if topped with more garnishing.


  • 2 Medium eggplants
  • 50 ml tahina(store-bought)
  • 25 ml lemon juice
  • 2 cloves garlic(minced)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon pomegranate seeds
  • chopped parsley
  • chopped tomatoes
  • sprinkling of cumin powder
  • sprinkling of paprika
  • salt to taste