sriracha pumpkin soup

Hot Sriracha pumpkin soup

It's the season for all things warm and hot when it comes to food. Whenever, fall weather kicks in, I start to fill my kitchen up with warm soups and hot meals. It's my thing, soups and cold weather, I can make a bucket load, refrigerate, so I have plenty for the entire week and that way I can catch up with whatever needs to be done at home. You know what I mean, those one-pot-meals can be life-savers and a time-savers. 
Suagr pie pumpkin

I've also picked up a great new time-saving habit, buy a sugar pie pumpkin, cut the hard skin off, grate it in the food processor and then divide and freeze in bags. It's working out wonderfully! The two of us at home can't eat that much in one sitting even if we wanted to and I love that I can now have raw pumpkin whenever I need. The longest I've kept it frozen is three weeks and it is still delicious just like it is here in my first soup recipe of this autumn season.

Pumpkin soup with Sriracha

I've developed this soup to be simple yet full of flavor. For heat, there's a generous addition of my favorite hot sauce, Sriracha and a little jalapeno pepper. Fried oregano makes the perfect garnish on top of this warm pumpkin soup. For a little more protein in the soup, I've added a bit of greek yogurt to the soup, whisk it in at the end and never boil the soup once the yogurt is added or the protein will coagulate. To reheat, I recommend warming it on a low flame slowly with constant stirring and avoid the boiling point.

Sriracha pumpkin soup

siracha pumpkin soup

yields: 6 servings

ingredients

4 cups raw pumpkin pulp, grated  (I used a sugarpie pumpkin)
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 jalapeno
4 cups vegetable stock (low sodium)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 generous tablespoon of sriracha
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (optional)
1 cup beaten plain non-fat greek yogurt

1. Puree the pumpkin pulp, garlic cloves, jalapeno and about half of the stock in a food processor. Add more stock if necessary to get a smooth puree. Keep aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large thick bottomed stockpot with a lid on a medium high flame. When the oil is hot, add the oregano and cook for 40 seconds, remove the oregano from the pot with a silicone spatula or spoon and reserve for later. 
3. In the same stockpot add the pureed pumpkin, the rest of the stock, sriracha, salt and the turmeric. Stir the ingredients and bring the mixture to a boil on a medium high flame. Once the soup starts to boil, reduce the flame to a gentle simmer, cover with the lid and cook for 45 minutes until the pumpkin puree tastes completely soft. 
4. Remove the soup from the stove and whisk in the yogurt to mix completely. Adjust the amount of salt and siracha if needed.
5. Serve the soup immediately and garnish with a little extra virgin olive oil and the fried oregano from earlier.

lentil and pumpkin shami kebab

shami kebab

Yup, another pumpkin related post this week! This one is all about vegetarian kebabs without the need for outdoor grilling which makes it fantastic if it is getting chilly outdoors. Lighter, warmer, and fun and of course orange, these are literally the components of the theme of this recipe. 

lentilles du puy

There are probably a zillion different types of kebabs that you can find in almost every city of India. Skewers are adorned with delicious cuts and flavors of all sorts of meat and others like these shami kebabs than are seasoned  and then pan fried to crispy perfection. Traditionally, you would make these kebabs with ground meat (lamb, beef, or even poultry) but off late, I've been hankering a craving for something a little more festive surrounding fall flavors with a lighter flair. So out went the meat while in walked the lentilles du puy and raw freshly grated pumpkin and a crispy spicy kebab was born on a hot cast iron pan in my kitchen.

(Just in case the heightened level of my excitement doesn't come through, I am REALLY HAPPY with the way the kebab held its texture and shape during and after cooking and best of all they even after refrigeration. Just the right texture and just the right amount of moisture). 

vegetarian shami kebab

This pickled red onion relish is delicious but more importantly it is quick and easy to make. A 15 minute onion pickle that is loaded with sour and very mild notes of  sweetness goes great with these vegetarian kebabs. Slice, shake, sit and eat, that pretty much sums up all the effort you need here. 

kebab making

I'll give you a fair warning here, these kebabs are hot, if you like them hotter add more chili, if you don't cut back. The number of spices on the ingredient list make it look lengthy and daunting but believe it really is worth using fresh whole spices and then grinding them down to give the vegetable kebabs a richer flavor.

Tip: I normally adjust the amount of salt and pepper based on taste test after I fry one kebab. If I feel the salt is too little, I will add a little more. If it is too much, then add a little bit of bread crumbs. It is better to start with a lower amount of salt and then adjust the seasoning.

shami kebab2

lentil and pumpkin shami kebabs

yields: 12-14 kebabs

ingredients 

1 cup lentilles du puy
3 cups grated pumpkin, raw (sugar pie pumpkin)
1 large egg
1 tablespoon chick pea flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher sea-salt 
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
1 teaspoon coriander, ground
1 teaspoon red chili flakes, freshly ground  
1 teaspoon ginger powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon mace, freshly ground
1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 teaspoon cumin,
2 cloves
zest of one lime, fresh
1 green cardamom pod, seeds removed (discard the green shell)
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cilantro leaves, freshly chopped
1 green thai chili pepper
1/4 cup panko bread crumbs (regular bread crumbs will work too)
olive oil for frying

1. Clean the lentils for any stones, wash and soak them in cold water overnight. The next day, drain the water, add 2 cups of water and bring the contents to a boil on a medium high flame in a thick bottom stock pot. Then reduce the flame to low and cook the lentils for 45 minutes until tender. Using a sieve, drain the liquid from the lentils and place the lentils on a clean towel to absorb any excess liquid.
2. In a coffee grinder or spice grinder, grind all the spices from the coriander to the cardamom seeds and keep aside.
3. In a food processor, add the rest of the ingredients except the olive oil. Add the lentils to this mix and pulse for 5 seconds 5 times to get a coarse mixture. The texture crumbly and not smooth. Transfer the contents to a bowl and using your hands mix the ingredients (this ensures that everything is blended and seasoned uniformly). With the palms of your hands, mold the kebabs into little flattened discs that are about 1 inch in diameter. You should get approximately 12-14 kebabs. 
3. Heat a little oil in a cast iron skillet on a medium-high flame (I normally use about 2 tablespoon for every 6 kebabs). Fry 6 kebabs at a time for about 4 minutes on each side, until each kebab is golden brown (the internal temperature should reach 130F). Place the kebabs on a clean paper towel to drain any excess oil and serve hot with rice or flat bread (like naan or roti) and plain yogurt. 

quick pickled red onion relish

servings: 2-4 people

ingredients

1 large red onion
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 green thai chili pepper, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cilantro leaves, finely chopped
a pinch of salt
1/8 teaspoon sugar

1. Peel the onion, cut into half and then thinly slice each section. 
2. In a clean jar, mix all the ingredients together.  Cover the jar tightly with a lid and shake it a few times. Leave for 15 minutes in the refrigerator before serving. You can adjust the amount of salt and sugar as needed but I prefer to have this more sour and less salty and sweet. 

pumpkin raita

pumpkin raita

Here's my first pumpkin recipe of the year, even though autumn is technically a few days away, I think it is fair to say, the weather is cooling down quickly, the sun is setting earlier, and my craving for pumpkins is kicking in. Though this is also the time when we bounce back and forth between hot and chilly day  and I think that you will find this recipe a fitting tribute to the transition between summer and fall,  with its cool, light, and refreshing flavors, something that you can eat as an accompaniment to any meal or even as a salad. 

Pumpkin cutting

One of my favorite accompaniments in Indian cuisine is the "raita".  It is usually served chilled and it soothes and cleans your palette whenever you eat a spicy hot dish. There are several hundred different varieties of raitas but all of them share one common ingredient, yogurt. Normally, you would use plain yogurt but since I like my raitas a little thick and creamy, I use plain Greek yogurt. If you want it thinner, mix in a little cold water till you achieve the desired consistency.

Yogurt and Cilantro

Sugar pie pumpkins are the perfect size for a small family and much more easier to work with. All you need to do is simply quarter the pumpkin, discard the seeds and strings from the inner cavity, peel and discard the skin. To grate the flesh, pass it through a food processor with the appropriate blade or use a grater. For this particular dish, I prefer to steam cook the grated pumpkin since it only takes a few minutes and the pumpkin retains its structure. 

Falling black mustard seeds

This raita will go deliciously well with rice dishes, flat breads like naan or rotis or even as a dip for a party. If you want it hotter, just add a few more chili peppers just make sure it is served super chilled.

Here are some of my other favorite savory and sweet pumpkin dishes that I hope you will like,
bowl of pumpkin raita

pumpkin raita

yields: 4 servings

ingredients

2 cups grated pumpkin
1 thai green chili pepper, thinly sliced
1/4 red onion, minced
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
3 cups plain non-fat greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon sea salt 
1/4 teaspoon pepper, freshly ground
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
2-3 curry leaves, dried or fresh

1. Place the grated pumpkin in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with a lid and microwave for 3-4 minutes until the pumpkin is completely tender.  Keep aside to cool.
2. In a large mixing bowl add the pumpkin, chili pepper, onion, cilantro, mint, yogurt, salt, and pepper. Whisk the ingredients with a fork and taste to make sure the amount of salt and pepper is enough. Transfer the mixture to a clean serving dish. Cover and refrigerate the raita for 1-2 hours until chilled.
3. Before serving, heat the oil in a saucepan on a medium high flame till it gets slightly smoky. Immediately reduce the flame to low and carefully add the mustard seeds and curry leaves. The seeds will begin to spurt and the leaves will brown in the hot oil. Cook till the seeds stop spurting and pour the entire contents while hot on top of the chilled raita. Serve immediately. 

pan seared hot and spicy pumpkin cakes


This is the one time of the year that fresh pumpkins are easy to score and at great prices. The farms and pumpkin patches around D.C. have convincing evidence that pumpkins are abundant, if you see what I mean. We recently drove by a patch of pumpkins and it was the most amazing display of orange against green at 6 am in the morning! We picked out three huge behemoth monstrosities to carve, have you picked your pumpkins out yet ? Canned pumpkin purees are easier to find at almost anytime of the year than fresh pumpkins. One thing that I find with canned purees is that most brands are almost inevitably a bit sweet and are mostly targeted towards pies and other dessert recipes. There are very few unsweetened pumpkin purees out in the market so I normally freeze a little  chopped or unsweetened puree that lasts for a few months. This gives me some flexibility in my pumpkin recipe options for a short while. 


This is one of my favorite pumpkin recipes that I make almost every year, at least a couple of times. These pumpkin cakes are hot and spicy and best when served fresh off the stove. I merged a few Asian and Indian ingredients to bring out the heat and flavor in the pumpkin cakes. The heat in the cakes comes from the chili pepper flakes and the sambal olek (which is my go-to heat resource for all things spicy in Asian cooking and is now available at most stores). The fresh garlic and garam masala not only adds rich and warm flavors but are also the main aromatics in the cakes. These days almost every grocery store will carry a brand of garam masala and they are quite good. A dash of turmeric brightens the color of the pumpkin while the soy sauce helps to bring all the ingredients together. There are three binding agents in these cakes, the mashed peas, the panko breadcrumbs, and the beaten egg. Since pumpkin has quite a bit of water in it, I recommend squeezing the pumpkin as tight as you can to release as much liquid as possible. If you squeeze the pumpkin before the mixing stage, you will get crispier cakes.


My food processor was a big help here! It grated the raw pumpkin easily with no hesitation. After halving my pumpkin, I peeled the hard exterior skin off and then chopped them into thick wedges about  4 inches or so in length and ran them through the food processor. I have also found it helpful to peel pumpkins after they have been refrigerated for at least 4 hours, it seems to help the skin come off easily. Another useful tool here is a cookie cutter that helps to shape and size the cakes evenly. I was tempted to coat the cakes with the breadcrumbs and then fry them but I like the pretty yellowish-orange colors of pumpkins and could not find a reason good enough to hide them.


pan seared hot and spicy pumpkin cakes

ingredients


4 cups grated pumpkin
1/3 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons finely chopped cilantro
1 teaspoon dried chili pepper flakes (I used dried Kashmiri chilies)
1 garlic clove, finely minced
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon sambal olek
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs or regular bread crumbs
olive oil for frying

1. Squeeze the liquid out of the grated pumpkin and discard the juice.
2. Microwave the peas for 3 minutes on the high setting. They should get soft enough to be easily mashed. When ready mash the peas with a fork.
3. In a large mixing bowl, add the pumpkin, mashed peas, garlic, egg, soy sauce, sambal olek, panko, chili, salt, pepper, and garam masala. Combine them together with a spoon or by hand.
4. Heat the olive oil in a skillet. 
5. Spoon out about 3 heaped tablespoons of the mixture inside a 2 inch circular cookie cutter directly on to the hot pan. Quickly shape it to conform to the cookie cutter. Pan fry the cakes on each side till seared. This should take about 4 minutes on each side. Drain any excess oil from the cakes on to a clean paper towel. Serve hot.

pumpkin stuffed naans


Its nice to check something off your bucket list and this weekend I got the opportunity to put a check mark right next to paintball. I never got the chance to do this when I was a kid and now this dream has been completed.  I'll admit to being a little anxious about the bruises and marks that I had heard about. Honestly, its not that bad and it stung perhaps for a few seconds and I was fine! The only pain that lasts is that related to cleaning the paint of your clothes and the extra round of laundry added to the weekend. It was fun and exciting while we jumped and climbed through the woods to defend a UFO, and a castle.  


I think about food a bit too much. By the time I'm on my way to work, dinner is already on my mind and I wait anxiously till the day is over. The arrival of autumn brings in new produce to work with and I am excited. Excited about the delicious and colorful squashes and vegetables that will take over my kitchen table for the next few months. So here it is, something that has been at the back of my mind quite a while now, I just needed to wait for the pumpkins to arrive.


I used one of my earlier recipes for naans to prepare these stuffed breads. They are delicious and taste best when made fresh. They make a complete meal by themselves and you can serve them with a small side such as a plain cucumber and tomato salad, a chutney, or even some sort of relish. I prefer these with chilled plain unsweetened yogurt. If you want them to be a little hot, increase the amount of chili. Of course you can just skip the chili if you don't want them hot. I normally remove the seeds from the chili before I chop them because that is where most of the heat is concentrated in the pepper.


pumpkin stuffed naan

ingredients


pumpkin stuffing

1 small pumpkin (enough to get about 1 1/2 to 2 cups of pumpkin flesh)
2 cloves of garlic
1 bunch fresh cilantro
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped red/green thai chili
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 tablespoon poppy seeds or nigella seeds
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
melted butter or ghee for cooking the naans on the skillet

Slice the pumpkin into half, remove and discard the seeds and fibers. With the outer skin still on cut the pumpkin into wedges or cubes (about 1 inch think). Spread the pumpkin evenly onto a baking sheet and broil in an oven on high for 15 minutes till the flesh is blistered and the pumpkin is tender and soft but not mushy or cooked all the way. It is useful to place the baking sheet as close as possible to the broiler flame to ensure a good blistering of the flesh (The pumpkin will cook again once stuffed inside the naan, so there is no need to overcook at this stage).  Let the pumpkin cool to room temperature on the baking sheet. Scoop the flesh out and chop it fine and transfer it to a mixing bowl. Finely chop the cilantro, chili, and garlic and add this to the pumpkin. Toss in the chopped red onion, garam masala, salt, and pepper. 

preparing the naans

Follow the naan recipe, let the dough rise for 4 hour and prepare the dough balls as described in the original recipe. Take one ball at a time, with your finger make a small well in the center with your thumb and fill about 1 heaped tablespoon of the pumpkin filling. Seal the filling inside the dough ball (just like a dumpling) by bringing the sides of the dough to meet each other. Flatten the dough on a clean and lightly floured surface. With a rolling pin, flatten out the dough with a rolling pin that are about 1 centimeter thick. Some of the filling will come to the surface of the dough which is absolutely fine. Spread a teaspoon of melted butter on the surface of the naan and sprinkle a pinch or two of the poppy seeds. Transfer the naan onto a hot lightly greased (add 1/2 teaspoon melted butter to the skillet too before you add the naan) Now with the skillet on a high flame, slap the naan directly onto the surface. Cover the skillet immediately with a tight lid. This seals the steam in, which is necessary to cook the naan and give it its characteristic blistered appearance. After about 3-4 minutes, flip the bread and reduce the flame to a medium flame and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the hot naan and keep on a clean cloth or paper towel to absorb the steam. Serve hot with cold  plain yogurt

quick pumpkin bread


One cold week done and another one to board. However, the extra hour this weekend as the clock is set back by an hour will be happily received. Extra sleep is always, always good. This was a bad week of getting out here to post or much less get any time to read anything. Too much to do and too little time however, I did get to try this new recipe for a quick pumpkin bread. What started out as an attempt to bake pumpkin cookies ended up as a fast and quick way to a quick loaf of pumpkin bread. This I realize is my third pumpkin post, back-to-back. but such a delicious bread that had to be shared. I should be back to more posting this week.



quick pumpkin bread

servings: 1 regular loaf tin
ingredients

3/4 cup shredded roasted pumpkin
1/4 cup raisins
2/3 cup plain flour
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup molasses
2 large eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2  teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ginger powder
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground cinnamon 
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground clove
a pinch of salt
vegetable oil spray (canola)
a little flour for dusting the pan

1.Preheat the oven to 350F. 
2. Whisk all the liquid ingredients together and keep aside. Add the raisins and the pumpkin into the liquid mixture. 
3. In another bowl whisk all the dry ingredients together. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the liquid ingredients with constant whisking at a medium speed. 
4. Grease a baking tin/ loaf pan with vegetable oil or an oil spray and then sprinkle with flour to coat the dish. Pour the batter into the greased dish and bake for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a knife comes out clean from the center. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 20 minutes at room temperature, then remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely to room temperature on a wire rack.

pumpkin bread pudding


With midterms knocked out, my second monster to battle this week (that spills over into next week), is another thesis assignment. Regressions, numbers and a buddy named STATA will be my companions for quite a while.



After an astoundingly chilly night with snow, sleet and rain, we ventured out to spend the day at Roosevelt Island. I don't think I have ever seen snow in October, it feels like fall never even dropped by to say hi.We had a nice sunny day today so a picnic by the G.W. parkway seemed appropriate.


We relaxed, Snoopy sniffed around. The Potomac gently billowed a cool air under the bright sun which made this a great day to be outdoors.Oddly enough, for all the years that we have lived in D.C., we have never visited the island. The central monument inside the island is certainly a must-see and the little marsh trail around is equally breathtaking.


What can be more fun, warm and hearty than a bread pudding, well in my opinion a roasted pumpkin bread pudding! After my recent excursion to the neighboring pumpkin land around the Capitol, I felt compelled to work on a pumpkin flavored bread pudding recipe for my first post, post midterms. I like my bread puddings to be mildly sweet but then drizzled with warm and sticky sweet whiskey sauce. However, this recipe made me change my tune a little, a new wine reduction sauce to replace the traditional whiskey sauce with the creamy orange pudding enmeshed with toasty bread made this a recipe that must be shared.


I flipped the ingredients traditionally used in preparing bread pudding without compromising on taste and quality. There exist a fee good tricks to any good bread pudding is the right type of bread that is correctly toasted. Both sourdough and Challah bread go well with this recipe. I used Challah because I think it is divinely delicious in bread pudding. I normally let the bread soak in the egg mixture for at least in an hour in the refrigerator to let the egg get completely. Baking bread pudding in a water bath ensures that every end is cooked evenly and a nice crust. I use a rectangular pan a little larger than my baking dish filled with tap water. The eggs in the mixture do not overcook and get rubbery this way. Give the mulled red wine sauce a shot which has the perfect complementary taste to the pumpkin and the fall spices in it.


P.S. This also made the perfect picnic snack for our walk today....


pumpkin bread pudding

serves: 12 individuals
ingredients

Bread Pudding

4 cups Challah bread, chopped and cubed
1/2 cup sugar
6 eggs
6 cups skim milk
1 cup pumpkin puree
a pinch of salt
1 teaspoon dried ginger powder
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon powder

1/2 stick butter melted

1/2 cup packed dried raisins or sultanas soaked in dark rum for at least 1 day 

1. Toast the bread cubes in an oven at 375F for 10 minutes in an even single layer till they get golden brown. Remove and keep aside to cool. 
2. In a large mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs, followed by the milk, the pumpkin puree, salt, and spices. In a rectangular baking pan (about 9*10 inch rectangular pan), brush the bottom of the pan with about half of the melted butter and then spread the toasted bread cubes in a layer. 
3. Pour the entire liquid mixture on the bread and using a spatula gently, firmly press the bread down. Cover the open surface of the pan with cling film and keep the pan in the refrigerator for 1 hour. 
4. After the refrigeration, sprinkle the raisins and drizzle the pan with the remaining melted butter.
5. Bake for one hour at 375F in a water bath till pudding is firm (or till a knife comes out clean from the center). Allow the pudding to cool to room temperature in the pan and the chill for about an hour or two before serving. (Note: I sometimes like to eat bread pudding warm but the sauce cool, its just a matter of preference and taste which is the best part of this recipe)

Sweet Mulled Red Wine Sauce

1/4 cup sugar
2 cups red wine (Shiraz)
1 star anise
1 stick of cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon dried ginger powder
2 tablespoons dried and chopped orange peels

1. In a thick bottomed saucepan, add all the ingredients with the wine and bring to a boil. Then reduce to a simmer and stir occasionally till the wine reduces to a thick sauce (about 1/2 of the original liquid volume should evaporate). 
2. Strain the reduction through a sieve and discard the solids. Drizzle the reserve liquid, either hot or cold on each slice of bread pudding before serving.


pumpkin peda


I feel like I have not been on here since forever. After surviving the bitter onslaught of midterms, I can now breathe the crisp and cool air while working out ways to get some "free" time to perhaps do nothing. An idyllic day or weekend to do nothing would be perfect, unfortunately it never works out like that.


It's Diwali today and I am feeling a little homesick. Not that we had lavish celebrations for Diwali but it was still a great time to decorate with lit oil lamps, light fireworks with friends, get gifts and eat tons of deliciously rich food. Now that I live in the U.S., I do not get to celebrate Diwali that often but every now and then I try to recreate as much as I can of this wonderful festival of lights.


Since, pumpkins have been abound and in plenty, a pumpkin flavored peda sounded worth the effort. Pedas are Indian milk desserts that resemble truffles in shape and have a delightful but comforting sweet milk taste. To make a basic milk peda, you need to make a thick syrup of milk and sugar and cook it till it all the liquid is dried up. Condensed milk would save me a huge chunk of time in preparing this dessert, so I thought about skipping regular milk in favor of the condensed version. Ground almonds helped to give the pedas a nice firm texture after I added in the pumpkin puree. The drier the mixture when cooked, the faster and more solid your peda will turn out. It took me about 40 minutes of total stove time to get them right. The best part, if it is too wet to mold after you cool it down, you can reheat and evaporate some more of the liquid.I always think it is a wonderful way to make your own traditions.This pumpkin peda was one such example where I could add my own little flavor to a very popular Indian staple at the dessert table. Happy Diwali everyone...


pumpkin pedas

servings: Approximately 10-12 pedas

ingredients

1 can condensend milk
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon butter
pinch of saffron
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground green cardamom

1. In a thick bottomed sauce pan, pour the condensed milk and the pumpkin puree and cook on a medium flame with constant stirring.
2. Add the saffron and the cardamom powder and cook for about 15 minutes till the mixture starts to thicken and begins to leave the sides of the pan. 
3. Now, fold in the butter and cook for a further 15 minutes till the mixture is almost dry. Pour the mixture out onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let it cool. Once cooled, using your hands roll the mixture out into even sized balls about 1 inch in diameter. Let them rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes and then store in the refrigerator. Serve cool. 

pumpkin galore


I sneaked away to write a little. Since midterms begin this week, I have not had any time to post any recipes. The week before midterms is always a tense period and generally stress and excessive cramming take over my life. Surprisingly this time, I did something new. We took a weekend trip to Rehoboth Beach in Delaware with our friends Ali and Shannon who live next door and brought our dogs along.


I was able to get out a little and also get plenty of geographic information memorized for my exam (I am taking a course on Geographic Information Systems). I can finally recall my high school geography classes and once again distinguish between latitudes and longitudes in more than one way. The ocean was a bit cold and windy but with the sun out we were fortunate to have some great warm temperatures.


With Halloween around the corner, pumpkin patches are in full swing all over the place and we were able to see throngs of pumpkin sales on our drive down and on our way back. In India, pumpkins are generally less sweeter than here in the United States and are normally consumed as a vegetable. I think except for "Petha" or the candied white pumpkin I can't think of an Indian pumpkin dessert. No complaints here though, I love pumpkin pie even more than pecan pie. The wide variety in shape, size and textures of this "magical" orange squash make it one of my favorite fall highlights.