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Pumpkin Recipes

Compiled by Nirmala Garimella

(This article is sponsored by Milan Restaurant)

Pumpkin Halwa


3 sticks (3/4 pound) sweet butter
3/4 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
3/4 cup nonfat dry milk powder
1/2 cup blanched slivered almonds
2 tbsp. chopped pistachios
6 cups raw pumpkin pieces cut in quarters (2 1/2 3 pounds)
9 tbsp. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom


Melt 1 stick (8 tbsp.) of the butter in a skillet. Add the ricotta and dry milk, mix it in, and cook over medium-high heat to a thick paste (about 15 minutes), stirring constantly. Transfer the mixture to a small plate and set aside.

Wipe the skillet clean and add 2 tbsp. of the butter along with the almonds. Cook over medium-high heat until the almonds turn light golden (about 2 minutes), turning and tossing constantly. Drain the almonds on paper towels and set aside for garnish. Add the pistachios to the same skillet and cook until they become crisp (about 1 minute). Drain the pistachios on paper towels and set aside separately.

In the same skillet add 1 stick (8 tbsp.) butter and place over medium-high heat. When the butter melts, add the pumkin pieces and stir-fry. Reduce heat to medium or medium- low, cover, and cook for 8 minutes or until the pumpkin is cooked but not mushy. Add sugar and cardamom and cook until the pumpkins are glazed (about 5 minutes), stirring constantly.

Blend in the milk-cheese paste and continue cooking and adding the remaining 6 tbsp. of butter in small portions, until the halwa looks thick and glazed (12 - 15 minutes). Turn off the heat and stir in the pistachios. The halwa can be made ahead and kept refrigerated. Garnish with almonds.

Pumpkin Curry


2 cups pumpkin, skinned and cut into quarters
1 Onion
2 Chile, fresh
4 Garlic cloves
2 tbsp Oil
Curry leaf sprigs
1 ts Salt
1/4 ts Pepper, black
1/4 ts Turmeric
350 ml Coconut milk, thin
100 ml Coconut
2 tsp rice flour
1 ts Mustard powder
1/2 ts Lime juice

Wash the pumpkin and cut the top quarter off. Scoop out the flesh to within 2 cm of sides and cube. Put the shell on one side for using later. Slice the onion and chile and crush the garlic. Heat the oil and fry the onion and chile together with the curry leaves. When the onion is soft add the pumpkin, salt, pepper, turmeric and thin coconut milk and cook until the pumpkin is' done. Pour the Coconut milk, thick onto the rice flour, mustard and garlic and add to the pumpkin mixture, stirring as it thickens. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes. Remove from heat and spoon into pump- kin shell. Sprinkle lime juice.

Pumpkin Fugadh

3 cups Diced butternut Pumpkin/squash
1 Finely chopped onion
1 Finely chopped tomato
1/2 ts Mustard seeds
1/4 ts Turmeric
4 tb Oil
11/2cup Coconut cream
Water (about 1 cup)
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves
Heat oil and cook mustard seeds until they splutter. Add chopped onion and fry until tender. Add chopped tomato and tumeric, cook briefly. Put in the diced pumpkin, salt and water. Stir well to coat the pumpkin. Add coconut cream. Cover and cook until pumpkin is soft. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Mathan Erisheri (Kerala)

1/2cup dried lentils (moong dal)
2 cups pumpkins, chopped
1/8 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 cup grated coconut, divided (freshly grated coconut is best)
1/2 red chili
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon oil
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1/2 teaspoon Urad Dal (split skinned black gram)
6 curry leaves
Cook lentils in a pressure cooker till tender.Alternately you can also cook it in a saucepan; add 1 cup water to lentils, bring to a boil, then reduce flame to low, cover, and simmer until tender (15-20 minutes).Cook chopped pumpkins in another saucepan with approximately 1 cup water, along with salt and turmeric, until tender (about 10-15 minutes). Meanwhile, in a grinder or food processor, grind grated coconut (LEAVE ASIDE 1 TEASPOON), red chili, and cumin seeds into a paste.When the pumpkin is cooked, add the cooked lentils and coconut paste to it and bring to a boil.In a small frying pan, heat oil over medium-high flame and add mustard, Urad dal and curry leaves.When mustard sputters, add 1 teaspoon grated coconut and fry until it turns brown (don't burn it!!!).Add the contents of the frying pan to the lentil-pumpkin mixture. Stir well.

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