Tag Archives: Pumpkin

Indian Pumpkin Heaven

It is meatless Monday again, and another day to enjoy pumpkin. Yay pumpkin!

Today I made a big batch of pumpkin puree and decided freezing it would make for a good idea. At least for the next time I make something which needs puree. I can tell you that this will be soon.  I’m in the mood for pumpkin cookies…

But for now? For now I made a pumpkin curry.

Lots of Pumpkin Curry

You all should know I have a thing for Indian cuisine by now. I mean Trinidadian cuisine is more Indian than Caribbean and I do love a good curry. Delicious.

So here is today’s meal that I got from here:

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 ½ cup (495g) pumpkin puree
  • 2 cans (800g) canned tomatoes in their juices
  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • ½ cup (125ml) coconut milk
  • 2 cans (448g) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (224g) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 3 Tablespoons red curry paste
  • 3 Tablespoons agave nectar
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot or skillet, heat olive oil and cook onion and garlic on medium heat until soft (approx. 5 minutes)

  2. Add pumpkin, canned tomatoes, vegetable stock, coconut milk, black beans, and chickpeas. Add 1 tablespoon of curry paste and stir well. Season with salt and pepper and add another tablespoon of curry paste (keep in mind that some are spicier than others) add final tablespoon of curry paste if you can handle heat.

  3. Mix well before adding three tablespoons of agave nectar to your curry, this will balance the flavours.

  4. Bring to a boil and make sure all ingredients are mixed well together. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes on a very low simmer.

  5. Serve over rice or quinoa.

 I served mine over the yellow rice I’ve previously made when I first moved here. But it didn’t taste as good as it did that day.

Do you ever have that? Where you make something (just as you did previously) yet it doesn’t taste the same? It makes for difficult times!

Pumpkin Curry and Yellow Rice

I love how it looks colorful, though it is only red, black and white. Like that riddle: What’s black, white, and red all over?

My curry! And a newspaper… the real answer is a newspaper.

Anyway, I hope this interests you as much as it did me and my pumpkin obsession!

अपने भोजन का आनंद लें
Or as they say in English: Enjoy your meal!

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Happiness is Pumpkin Everything

So, about those pumpkins. They rock, don’t they? I love how you can make both sweet and savory dishes with them. Both which taste amazing. Best of all? Dogs can eat cooked pumpkin too! It is good for their stomachs if they have an upset stomach. So when your dog is eating grass, try cooking him/her pumpkin, that should fix them right up. Just like chicken noodle soup does for us humans.

For today I had to make something wonderful, wonderful and delicious of course. But before I get to this wonderful dish you know what sort of sucks about South Africa? And the Netherlands for that matter?

They don’t sell canned pumpkin! So we have to make that ourselves!

Luckily it isn’t all that difficult, all you need is cubed pumpkin and water. And an oven and food processor.

Just bake your pumpkin in an oven at 190ᵒC (374ᵒF) for 50 minutes or until the pumpkin can be poked with a fork. Remove from oven and place in food processor. If too dry add a few tablespoons of water until at desired consistency. Allow to cool and utilize as you wish.

Easy as pie!

Speaking of pie, my dish tasted sort of like pumpkin pie. Instead it was a cake though!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake

I got the recipe from here but tweaked it ever so slightly.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 can pumpkin puree
  • ½ cup (100g) brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup (55g) granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (63ml) canola oil
  • ¼ cup (71g) Greek yoghurt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 cup (128g) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup (225g) cream cheese
  • ¼ cup (55g) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350ᵒF (175ᵒC). Oil one 9×5 inch loaf pan with canola oil and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl add the first ten ingredients for the cake and combine with a whisk.

  3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and fold with a spatula to combine, keep in mind not to over mix. Set aside.

  4. Pour 2/3 of the batter into the loaf pan. Smooth the top with a spatula and lightly press into corners. Set aside.

  5. In a food processor combine all ingredients for the cream cheese filling and blend until smooth.

  6. Pour contents over preset cake batter, smooth out until even.

  7. Now layer the remainder of the cake batter over the cream cheese filling and ensure that the batter is smooth.

  8. Pop into oven and bake for 48 minutes or until cooked through and golden on top.

  9. Allow to cool before removing from loaf pan and enjoy!

Pumpkin Cream Cheese CakeOh, how I love pumpkins.

Life without them would be depressing as ever! Imagine Thanksgiving without pumpkin pie and a nice dollop of whipped cream? Can you? I can’t!

Then again, I’ve got pumpkin on the brain. I have 2kg worth of cubed pumpkin in my fridge.

If you were to operate on me you could almost see orange in my intestines. Weird image there.

Anyway, I hope you make this fabulous cake and enjoy it as much as my family and I did.

It was truly amazing. A must make!

First Slice of the Cake
First Slice of the Cake

‘Tis the Season to Enjoy Pumpkins!

‘Tis the season to enjoy Pumpkins, well at least it is in the Northern Hemisphere. BUT it is October, the month of Jack’o’lanterns, so why can’t it also be the month of everything pumpkin? Well in my household it is! Even my sister who lives in the Netherlands knows that!

Pumpkin this, pumpkin that, pumpkin EVERYTHING!

To start off the season right I made a soup with pumpkin!

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

Although I wasn’t too fond of the soup, when dad came home (from his two weeks in Angola), he went for seconds he loved it that much.

Quinoa Black Bean Pumpkin Soup

I got the recipe from here, but I added more pumpkin and another step to the instructions.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 red chili pepper, diced
  • 4 cups (1kg) pumpkin, cubed
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup (185g) quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 6 cups (720ml) vegetable broth
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Handful cilantro, diced

Instructions:

  1. Heat oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook onion for a few minutes. Add garlic and red chili pepper and cook until aromatic.

  2. Add pumpkin and spices and cook for a couple minutes.

  3. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and quinoa. Bring to a boil and cook for five minutes just before adding the remaining vegetable broth. Bring to a boil.

  4. Add beans and bay leaves and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20-30 minutes.

  5. Once quinoa is cooked and pumpkin is soft, grab a potato masher and mash pumpkin until soft (leave some chunks of pumpkin whole).

  6. Serve immediately and garnish with cilantro.

Although it is hot in Africa, lately I’ve been rather chilly, so this soup was perfect for dinner to warm my frozen body up.

Also, I’ve been meaning to educate you all on how to cut an onion. Now I know we all know how to cut an onion, but do you know the best way to do so? And the quickest?

One of my best friends taught me while we were in the kitchen. I was taking forever to cut and thankfully she came around and showed me the easiest way. Now I even cut tomatoes like this when I need chopped tomato!

First slice it length-wise
First slice it closest to the chopping board, horizontally
Then slice it higher, still length-wise
Then slice it higher, still horizontally
And again till you're at the top, length-wise
And again till you’re at the top, horizontally 
Then slice it vertically, from left to right (or vice versa)
Then slice it vertically, from left to right (or vice versa)
Continue to slice the onion vertically
Continue to slice the onion vertically
And again
And again
Now begin slicing until it looks like you've cubed your onion
Now begin slicing until it looks like you’ve cubed your onion

Now you should know how to cut an onion just like all the big time chefs of the world (or at least the chefs that taught me). And you have a great pumpkin soup recipe. I am sure this soup will benefit you more than it does me if you are based in the northern hemisphere where it is currently autumn. I know there’s already been severe snowfall in Alberta, Canada during the final months of summer, so it may be a very cold winter.

And a cold winter is best accompanied by a nice hot soup, right?

I hope you all enjoy this recipe!

Jam Packed Nutritious Curry!

I am so glad that even though my family is carnivorous, they enjoy vegetarian meals. I guess that makes them more omnivorous, but I like deeming any red meat eaters as solely carnivores.

For tonight we all enjoyed a wonderful meal of curry with pumpkin and chickpeas.Pumpkin, Chickpea, and Spinach Curry on a bed of Brown Rice

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin, chopped (I used a store-bought bag of chopped pumpkin)
  • 1 ½ cup Spinach
  • 1 cup Kale
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained
  • 1 ½ cans cubed tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Handful chopped coriander

Spices:

  • 1 Tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander
  • ½ Tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons ginger powder
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper

Directions:

  1. Place a large pan on the stove at medium-low heat and allow coconut oil to warm up. Once liquid add chopped onion and garlic and cook until translucent and fragrant. Add spices to the onion mixture and allow to become aromatic.

  2. Pour in cubed canned tomatoes and coconut milk and mix well.

  3. Add chopped pumpkin to liquid and allow to simmer for 10 – 15 minutes. Once pumpkin is soft add chickpeas.

  4. Once warmed up, add spinach and kale to curry and allow to become wilted and serve immediately. Top with fresh coriander and enjoy.

Pumpkin, Chickpea, Kale, and Spinach CurryYou can serve this with a side of bread or on top of some rice. I went for brown basmati rice as that is all we had. This meal was actually made of whatever goods we had in our house. Well mostly that is. My mom had to run to the grocery store as soon as we found out we didn’t have cumin in any of our spice drawers. That was pretty disastrous. Well not really, improvisation is an easy task, but cumin is great for a lot of other dishes too.

As for the use of both kale and spinach – I ran out of spinach so I decided to add more green with some kale. Usually meals contain either one or the other, but what’s wrong with both!?

This meal is my mom’s favourite. Last year when I first made it during my month of making pumpkin obsessed meals, I had to make it two or three times because she loved it so much. This though is the first pumpkin curry of 2014. Not bad eh?

And it is a great way to show my Dutch pride with an orange looking meal. Although it is 100% Indian being a curry and all. Oh well, orange meal to show my Dutch pride during the end of the Olympics and an Indian meal to show my love to my Indian boyfriend? That sounds better.

If you end up making this you can exclude the kale from the mix and use 2-3 cups of spinach instead. Also if pumpkin isn’t on hand, go for butternut squash! Both are equally delicious.

I hope you enjoy your meal! Or rather बॉन एपेतीत as said in Hindu.