Sunday, December 9, 2012

Lal Bhopalyachi Bhaji (Stir Fried Pumpkin)

After all the heavy and delicious food everybody indulged in during Diwali and Thanksgiving, it is time to get back on track (until Christmas that is..) with some simple grounded meals. With leftover pumpkin after a failed pumpkin pie attempt of mine, a quick stirf-fry recipe it was for all of us at home!

Low in calories and high in fiber, pumpkins are a good source of vitamins and minerals, especially beta-carotene, vitamin C and potassium. All of these linked to fighting heart diseases and other ailments. Pumpkins are 90% water and are therefore one of the food items recommended by dietitians in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs.

The preparation I am sharing with you today is a very typical Maharashtrian style of eating pumpkins. The bright red chillies, give a necessary punch to the otherwise sweet fruit and the fenugreek seeds and jaggery gives this dish so many different levels of flavor. You can leave the coconut out if you want to keep it strictly healthy, but as I wanted to share the traditional recipe with all of you, I have added coconut to this preparation.

Here is the recipe.

Level: Easy
Serves: 2 - 3 people

1 lb yellow pumpkin
1.5 tsp oil
3/4 tsp mustard seeds
2 pinch asafoetida
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
5 - 6 dry red chillies
10-12 curry leaves
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1.5 tsp jaggery
1/2 cup of water
Salt to taste
1 tblsp coconut for garnish
Few sprigs of coriander for garnish

Step 1 - Wash the pumpkin well. Peel the skin with a potato peeler. Scoop out the seeds and the fibers with a spoon. Cut the pumpkin into 1/2 inch cubes. Keep aside.

Step 2 - In a flat pan, heat the oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Add the asafoetida and fenugreek seeds. Stir for a few seconds. Add the dry red chilles and curry leaves. Stir for a few more seconds till the chillies get a little dark.

Step 3 - Add the chopped pumpkin and turmeric. Stir well till all the flavored oil coats the pumpkin. Reduce heat to medium low. Add 1/2 cup of water and cover and let it cook for 3 - 4 mins. Add the jaggery and salt. Mix everything together and cook again for 5 - 6 mins checking and stirring occasionally. Do not over cook the pumpkin. Once you realize that you can easily cut through the pumpkin with a spoon, immediately take it off the heat and keep it uncovered till it warms down.

Decorate with coriander leaves and coconut.
Serve warm with some hot chapatis.


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