Simple Pumpkin Stirfry

The other day I got a whole pumpkin, small one, coz it looked kind of cute and then it struck me how I was going use it up. The first thing that came to my mind was, of course, a pumpkin soup. Hubby dear, after savoring it, said it was the sweetest soup he had ever tasted!! Even after adding loads of black pepper powder, the pumpkin did not seem to loose its sweetness. Hubby dear who loves spicy foods seemed to be famished that day coz he didn’t even mind the sweetness, just gobbled it all up. Since the soup was too sweet for our liking I decided not to post the recipe.

The other half of the pumpkin just sat there in the refrigerator and I pretended to be oblivious to its presence for a few days, okay, make that a week. I thought it would grow moldy and that would give me a reason to throw it away but I think our refrigerator is working way too good that it just stayed fresh. Then one day I had no other veggie to prepare a stir fry and that’s when this poor pumpkin got its attention.

I prepared a simple stir-fry. I was apprehensive if the stir-fry would taste sweet and used a lot of green chillies, then I feared it would become too spicy but surprisingly - neither was it too sweet nor too spicy - it was just right!!

You need:

1. Pumpkin - 2 cups, peeled and cubed
2. Grated coconut - 2 tablespoons
3. Green chillies - 4, chopped [use less if you don’t like spicy food]
4. Curry leaves - a few
5. Mustard – 1 teaspoon
6. Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1/2 a teaspoon
7. Ginger - 1 teaspoon, grated
8. Salt to taste
9. Oil - 1 teaspoon

Now the steps:

1. In a microwave safe bowl, put in the cubed pumpkin and sprinkle a little water and microwave for 8 minutes or till done. The pumpkin should just be cooked and not be mushy.

2. Heat oil in a pan and put in mustard and jeera and wait fro it to crackle.

3. Add the curry leaves, ginger and when curry leaves turns crisp, put in the green chillies and the cooked pumpkin.

4. Add salt.

5. Sauté for a few minutes and remove from heat.

If you want to use the stove top instead of the microwave just reverse the process.

Heat oil in a pan and put in the seasonings, curry leaves chillies, grated ginger. Then in goes the pumpkin and sprinkle water and cover and cook it almost done. Stir it a few times in between. Add salt and cook till done.

Food for thought:

One look at the pumpkin and you will know that it is loaded with Beta carotene –which is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. Beta carotene provides some protection against the degenerative aspects of aging. It also reduces the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protection against heart disease.

Apart from the beta-carotene goodness in Pumpkin, it is full of
1. Vitamins (C, K and E),
2. Minerals (Magnesium, Potassium, and Iron) and
3. Fiber

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