Halloween or All Hallows Eve is celebrated on 31st October every year as a precursor to All Saints Day.
A festival that is largely celebrated in the West, Halloween isn’t much of a grand celebration in India. However, with growing cultural exchanges and intermingling of people from different walks of life, adaptations are almost inevitable. While All Saints Day is a huge festival for Christians in the West who honour all the saints on 1st November each year, preceding this day, the eve is called All Hallows Eve or popularly known as Halloween.
As soon as the conversation shifts towards Halloween, the visual that starts playing in my head is that of huge pumpkins that have creepy facial cut-outs, lit up outside homes and people dressed up in spooky attires roaming around the streets. Well, this is based on all the Netflix content I have consumed in the past few years. Then there is something called trick or treat wherein kids go door-to-door, looking for candies and other goodies.
While it seems like a fun-filled day, the origins of the festival tell us that it was a Celtic event, wherein people would burn huge bonfires and dress up in spooky ways to ward off evil spirits. This 2000 –year old belief was that the onset of winter and end of harvest marked the season of gloominess and death. In order to keep ghosts of dead and other negative spirits at bay, Samhain was celebrated which later took the shape of Halloween.
Today, there are several creepy-looking treats that are served on Halloween, from mummy pies to bloody drinks. This year, you could give your Halloween party a desi touch with this exclusive pumpkin menu.
1. Pumpkin Pulao
For the unversed, pulao is a rice-based dish with all kinds of vegetables. A one-pot dish that is generally served with a bowl of raita, this Halloween it can feature on your party menu. All you got to do is add some pumpkins to the rice.
2. Pumpkin Samosa
Samosa is a flaky Indian puff pastry that comes with a spicy potato and chickpea filling. The crunchy pumpkin samosas are an ideal snack for your Halloween party. A mixture of pumpkin and chana dal stuffed into the patty and deep-fried. The best part is that no one would even guess that it has the much-detested kaddu in it.
3. Pumpkin Cutlets
Snack-based items work pretty well for house parties as they are easy to eat and light on the stomach. For a crispy addition to your Halloween menu, try these pumpkin cutlets this year. Pair the potatoes with this grated yellow veggie and fry them away. Serve with mint chutney.
4. Pumpkin Parathas
The stuffed Indian flatbread has seen numerous kinds of fillings since its origins. However, we don’t think pumpkin has made it to the list yet. So why not give this a try? After preparing the dough, roll it out and stuff it with mashed pumpkins and toss it on the tawa. It would serve as a wholesome meal at your Halloween party.
5. Pumpkin Kofta
Koftas, for the uninitiated, are fried balls which are generally made of meat. With a vast vegetarian population in the country, we have lauki and kaddu koftas too. This pumpkin kofta is a crispy fried ball that can be eaten as a snack or dunked into a tomato-onion curry to be served as a main dish.
6. Pumpkin Kheer
Kheer is a milk pudding that usually comprises of either rice or vermicelli. In this experiment, you can add red pumpkin to the kheer to give it an orangish hue. Sprinkle some saffron strands for aroma and almonds for the crunch and you are good to go.