Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Something a little different - Pumpkin Sabzi

Back in the early 90's I was fortunate enough to live overseas. In Karachi (Pakistan), people visit weekly outdoor bazaars where they can purchase fresh produce directly from farmers or their representative. In a sense this is an old school version of a farmers market, usually being the only place one can purchase fruits and vegetables. Grocery stores and delis are few and far between.

Thanks to the nature of this system, I was exposed to eating fresh vegetables and fruits IN SEASON! No flash frozen, cold storage or manufactured fruits and veggies. This in turn exposed me to some foods I had never thought of trying or even ever seen before. This brings me to a recipe you pumpkin lovers might enjoy!

Pumpkin Curry (vegetarian)

1/4 of a medium/large sized pumpkin- peeled, cleaned and diced into 1" pieces
2-3 tbspns cooking oil
1 medium sized onion, sliced
1 tspn cumin seeds
1/2 a cinnamon stick
1 tbspn salt
1 tspn crushed red pepper
1/2 tspn crushed garlic (optional)
1 Roma tomato diced (optional)

1/4 cup water

In a large skillet add cooking oil (what ever you use regularly). When warm but not hot add the cumin, crushed red pepper and cinnamon. Let the cumin brown slightly (do not burn). Add the onion and stir. Let onion cook till they wilt or start to become not brown. Add the pumpkin, garlic and salt. Stir well and add some water, just enough to steam, then cover. Let cook for about 10min stirring a few times in between.

After 10-12 minutes, add the diced tomatoes and re-cover. Cook the curry, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is soft and somewhat translucent. Tomato should be completely dissolved and pumpkin so soft that it melts in your mouth (it should not be chewy but soft enough to mush with your tongue).

Its simple, quick and delicious! The optional ingredients make this more of a curry, but you can keep it simple and more fresh tasting without the garlic and tomato. I hope you enjoy it.

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