Yesterday, it was a Sunday and I saw this lovely red organic Hokkaido pumpkin lying in my vegetable basket for much too long. With pumpkins you always take it easy. You buy when you see something nice and let it rest there with its other friends in the basket , thinking "it has time...."as you want to prepare something nice on a weekend when you have more time at hand". Now, I felt, it really was time and I also knew what I wanted to make.
Hubby dear was playing with Rishab or, so to say, giving in to all his demands of " Now...we'll do this ...." and a while later "..now let's read a book...this one of Rabe Socke..." So, I had the peace of mind to prepare the meal and many more things I had planned for the day. For me to be able to spend time in the kitchen at length undisturbed has become a luxury, now that sonny boy also requires his attention and I always loved to be in the kitchen, especially on weekends, as that was the best way I could relax... to cook a nice meal and enjoy it. Earlier I didn't have the time to cook so often like I do now, but the fun factor has still not gone and now blogging has surely added the icing on the cake.
Since I had chosen a recipe which has almost become like our family recipe, there wasn't much thought I had to give while preparing it. It just comes from the heart. You know what I mean...? I came up to it without referring to any recipes or books (blogs were unknown to me then). I have created it entirely trusting my own instincts and after trying to get a feel for the new fruit (variety) which it was then. Ever since the recipe has remained more or less constant with only a few small variations depending on my mood. As, this is our family favorite and we love to eat it this way every year in Autumn.
So, this time I did not put whole coriander seeds, but ground them in my coffee mill. And used a small bunch of fresh thyme leaves which I think go quite well with the Indian spices. Though, dried fenugreek leaves taste splendid with the pumpkin. And I always have pumpkin nuts and I somehow feel they should not be missing in the dish either.
1 large Hokkaido pumpkin, seeds removed and cut into small pieces
6 potatoes, washed, peeled and cut into thick long slices / wedges
2 tbsp pumpkin seeds, optional
2 large cloves garlic, grated or thinly sliced
2 medium red onion, thinly sliced
2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or chopped fine
2-3 large tomatoes, sliced
1 tbsp fresh or 1 tsp dried herbs like thyme or dried fenugreek leaves
3 tsp salt, or to taste
4-6 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds,
2 tbsp coriander seeds,
1 tsp cumin,
2 star anise and
2-3 black cardamoms,
2 red chillies (or to taste),
- Roast the whole spices one by one and, clean and cut the vegetables.
- Mix all the ingredients together in a large porcelain baking dish
- Bake for 1 hour in a preheated oven at 175°C (160°C Convection)
- In between, take out and mix the vegetables
- At the end check if the potatoes are done with a fork, if not extend time as required to up to 20 minutes or until done
Both of us just love this very nutty flavour of Hokkaido and its smooth texture as compared to other pumpkin varieties and this fruit stays quite high in our list of favorite vegetables. And this time it was no different.
We ate this pumpkin with some Arabic whole wheat flat breads (they are just like Indian rotis) which hubby had bought at a shop in the city centre. We had made them warm on a cast iron pan before eating. But, this is also a perfect side to a nice pan fried fish or chicken breast. A bowl of fresh green salad would have made it even more better, but we were happy with it alone this time, as we had already had large portions of fruit salad I had made as a small midday snack for us.
Now that I am writing this post, I'm thinking that I haven't tried using pumpkin seed oil which I have been wanting to since a while now. But, I could imagine that a green salad with white wine vinegar vinaigrette with a drizzle of pumpkin seed oil must be a perfect match to it. I really have to get a small bottle and try it.
This one goes to Sensational sides at Meeta's What's for lunch Honey being hosted by Ruth of Ruth's Kitchen Experiments this time.
And I'm sending this off to another wonderful event World Food Day created and being co-hosted by Val of More than Burnt Toast and Ivy of Kopiaste.
This recipe also goes to the AFAM Event started by Maheswari at Beyond the Usual and being hosted this month by Madhuram of Egglesscooking.com.