While the winter season is favoured by many, others cannot bear the cold. That’s when cosy blankets and warm, comfort food come to their rescue. This time around, several parts of India reeled under extreme wintry conditions amid the third wave of Covid-19. While keeping warm and improving our immunity are a priority, one cannot help revisiting some of the Indian households’ favourite pumpkin recipes that are both healthy and delicious. Here’re some for you to try out this season: 

Pumpkin recipes

Recipe 1: Pumpkin Vegetable Soup

Ingredients:

  1. Pumpkin - 200 grams, peeled and cut into small cubes
  2. Ground and roasted cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
  3. Coriander leaves for garnish - 1 tbsp
  4. Powdered black pepper - 1 pinch
  5. Chilli flakes and herbs - to taste
  6. Water/vegetable stock -3 to 4 cups
  7. Green peas - 1/4 cup cubes
  8. Chopped onion – 1 tbsp
  9. Tomato purée - 1/4 cup
  10. Chopped garlic – 1 tsp
  11. Carrot - 1/2 cup cubes
  12. Capsicum - 1/4 cubes
  13. Oil/olive oil - 1 tsp
  14. Salt - to taste

How to make pumpkin vegetable soup?

  1. In a saucepan, heat oil, add garlic onion and fry for 10 seconds. 
  2. Then, add the vegetables and pumpkin to it. 
  3. Add salt, mixed herbs and spices, water or stock, purée, let it boil for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Serve hot garnished with herbs or fresh coriander.

Culinarian variations:

  1. Make your soup more filling by adding a little pasta of your choice like macaroni, penne or fusilli and serve with garlic bread.
  2. For non-vegetarians, we can add cubes of boiled chicken at the end of the soup instead of using chicken stock.
  3. Use white and yellow pumpkin for more flavour, and try adding a little fresh coconut milk for a varied creamy texture to the soup. You can also make a puree and garnish it with fresh flax seeds and coriander leaves.

Recipe 2: Pumpkin Coconut Pudding

Ingredients:

  1. Mixed nuts - Cashews/raisins/almonds - 4 to 5 each for garnish
  2. Yellow pumpkin - 200 grams, peeled and grated
  3. Cherries - 2 to 3, chopped for garnish
  4. Jaggery - 1/4 cup grated
  5. Milk/soy milk - 500 ml
  6. Coconut milk - 150 ml
  7. Green cardamom - 2
  8. Semolina - 2 tbsp
  9. Sugar - to taste
  10. Ghee - 1 tbsp
  11. Honey - 1 tbsp

How to make pumpkin coconut pudding?

  1. Prepare all the ingredients to make the sweet dish - heat ghee in a pan, add semolina and fry it on low flame for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring it continuously.
  2. Add milk, jaggery and other sweeteners as desired and mix well.
  3. Add grated pumpkin, cook on low flame, and mix it with semolina.
  4. Add coconut milk, stir well and cook for 6 to 8 minutes until it starts leaving the sides of the pan quickly.
  5. Serve hot garnished with chopped nuts and cherries.

Culinarian variations:

  1. Try making the pumpkin combinations with carrots and use dried coconut in place of coconut milk.
  2. I had also tried making pudding with crushed oats in place of semolina, and it was unique in texture and taste.
  3. Try it in some other form as well. For example, use an extract of your favourite milk and soy flour in place of semolina or porridge. Next, add some dark chocolate to the pudding, layer in a glass, and set it to cool.