South Indian pumpkin recipe – vegetarian and vegan friendly!

First and foremost, let’s establish the obvious: I’m a terrible blogger. It has been months and I am so sorry. I don’t think apologising every time is going to change anything, so I just hope you’ll understand that a potato kidnapped me and wouldn’t let me blog recipes. Moving on…

I recently found out that not many people have tried pumpkin before. Waaa? You’re crazy! Pumpkin is delicious! So, to expand your taste buds, I have a very simple South Indian pumpkin recipe that you’ll love. Yeah, you’ll love it, marry it and have pumpkin babies… *awkward silence*. This recipe is especially dedicated to my cousin, Khalyani, who is living a dream of a life in Nicaragua. More on that later, first: the recipe for this pumpkin…I-don’t-know-what-the-word-is. It’s not a ‘kootu’ (Tamil for ‘add’ – in essence it’s a dish that has lentils in it, that has less liquid than sambhar, but it’s not dry). It’s also not really a ‘poriyal’ (Tamil for a dish that has been shallow-fried). I guess it’s closer to being a pumpkin poriyal, but it’s not…this isn’t important. Now, where were we? Aha, the recipe!

Firstly, you want to grab a pan, heat it up and to this pan, add gingelly oil. Gingelly oil is pretty much the same as sesame oil, except it has a touch of jaggery (pure, unrefined cane sugar) in it. If you can’t find gingelly oil, you can use normal light sesame oil. To the oil, you want to add half a tsp of mustard seeds, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 tsp of fennel seeds and a tsp of toor dal (optional). If you do use gingelly oil, you’ll notice that it froths, as soon as you add the seeds and dal to it. This is normal, don’t worry. It’s just to do with the melting and heating temperatures of the jaggery in the sesame oil.

As soon as it starts frothing and doing its thing, add 1 tsp of turmeric powder and mix for a literal few seconds. Then, add in the pumpkin. I’ve cut up half a small blue/green pumpkin into small, inch cubes. The pumpkin I used, I believe, is a Queensland blue pumpkin; its skin is a blue/green colour, but the inside is a beautiful orange.

To the pumpkin, add salt to your taste and mix gently. You’ll see that the pumpkin starts to pick up the turmeric and the beautiful orange colour intensifies.

Next, add some crushed red chilli flakes. I added about three-quarters of a tbsp, but obviously this is dependent on your spice intake. Add more or less, that’s all up to you! Give it a good, gentle mix once you have added it.

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After you have mixed the crushed red chilli flakes in, add three-quarters of a cup of cold water and half a tsp of cinnamon powder. Give it a gentle fold. You will most likely notice that the consistency has become a little thick, perhaps a little mushy as well. Typically, this is eaten with some sort of flatbread, so the pumpkin has to be soft. By folding it gently, you will be retaining most of the pumpkin in its normal shape. Once you have folded the cinnamon in, put a lid on the pan and let it simmer for a good ten minutes. Make sure you fold it gently, every so often. The water will reduce and the dish will become less mushy and more dry.

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After ten minutes, it’s done! I really like eating couscous with this – probably not a normal combination, but it is so yum!

There you have it! If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below. I hope you all start eating more pumpkin, you’re really missing out. Pumpkin pie doesn’t count!

Continuing from before, Khalyani and Rafał write a brilliant blog about their adventures in Nicaragua, and other parts of Central America. They gave up their consultancy jobs, in Europe, and are now living over there with two languages between them – very brave! Find out more about their ventures and the people they have met during their amazing travels: www.trailwinds.me.

Until next time! (I won’t get kidnapped by a potato, again!)

 

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Breakfast for dinner – Nutella banana pancakes

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I had three very ripe bananas but didn’t know what to do with them. I was going to use one as part of my DIY hair conditioning recipe, but then my stomach rumbled so pancakes happened.

I added oats to the mixture as well, for extra goodness and fibre…don’t forget to love your colon! The pancakes turned out really soft, and there were no lumpy bits because the bananas had softened the oats in the mixture.

And then Nutella happened. Everything ends up being amazing after Nutella.

Breakfast for dinner is the way forward!

Fusion food. Never complain.

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Lemon rice and salmon sambal. What? Lemon rice is literally that, with dried red chillies and spices. It’s a rice dish from South India. Salmon sambal is not typically made in Malaysia (where the dish is from); you find chicken and shrimp usually. Salmon sambal is a family recipe, made with tomatoes, onions and a particular type of red chilli, and I adore it! No one ever mixes the two together…except me. Student life – students never complain! And why would I complain when I have this deliciousness in front of me?

Crazy love, broken promises, food dead, cannibalism, hybrid insects and a beautiful eye!

I’m back! *pop*

It has been just shy of  four months since my last post, and I expected this blog to have absolutely no views in that time. How wrong am I? It’s astounding how many people read this blog. I have readers from ALL OVER THE WORLD!  Not only from the UK, USA or Canada but Bahrain, Israel, Brazil, Dubai, Laos, Korea, Spain, Russia, Kenya, Mongolia, New Zealand, Turkey…the list goes on! I never expected it, at all. I don’t even have that many posts! Other bloggers out there might think this is normal, but it’s huge for me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I’ll try my best to not disappoint you with late posts again! Love, love, love!

A couple of posts ago, I was nominated for the Liebster Award and I promised once I found 11 good blogs, I would nominate them. Truth is, the blogs I found already had been nominated. Also, they didn’t nominate everyone themselves (except one). Somewhere down the line, the rules have been muddled. Tut tut.

Also, I mentioned the chalazion on my eye. It’s gone! It went a while ago, I just never told you guys. Oopsy! But, I shall pass down my chalazion-fighting wisdom to you. Red sandalwood powder! Just mix it with rose water, or just plain water, and leave it on for 2 minutes and wash off, very carefully. From beginning to end, it took just under two months to clear, however the nurse did say it could take anywhere from 5 months to 2 years! I patted my immune system on its back and gave it some nutella, don’t worry.

Talking about health, I haven’t been ill more times than I have been so this year. I don’t know why, but everything is going pear-shaped, health-wise. Normally, I only have the seasonal flu twice a year, but this year, I’ve had a little more than that. I blame my vegetarian diet. On that note, not long to go before my vegetarianism is over! Not that you care…

On a completely unrelated note, I had a very funny dream that only accentuates my personality. I had been held hostage on a vintage train by life-sized hybrid insects. I say hybrid, I don’t really know what word to use.  The “leader” was a very fat, slimy, grey worm/slug/caterpillar, who wore a monocle, top hat and waistcoat. He wanted to blow up the Earth (I don’t know why) and only had 24 hours to do it in. Just as he was about to press the gooey chocolate button, his insect men came in and said that the only way he could blow up the Earth was to twist once. Yes, twist. That was the exact word they used. What they meant was he had to rotate his whole body once for the Earth to blow up. His monocle dropped and he raised his voice saying, “But it takes 10 days to twist…well, we better get a move on then, quick!” He then twisted his head once and headed for the door, whilst his insect men followed him and tried to help. Then, in Picasso-style, a moth/daddy-long leg/helicopter thing flew out very slowly, as if it were injured. And I woke up. I HAVE NO IDEA WHY! But this isn’t the first time I have dreamt about strange, strange things. Just ask my sister (okay, so you can’t really ask her); she gets annoyed at me every time I tell her one of my dreams.

Food. My diet hasn’t been great recently. I started this blog to talk about food, share recipes and reviews and also talk about stuff that happens in my life. But I haven’t really been keen on anything food-related, surprisingly. I haven’t gone off food, oh no no no. I just can’t stand cooking in my kitchen. My flatmates are disgusting. They leave bits of food lying around, raw meat just sitting in bowls, they don’t take the bins out and I don’t even think they’ve cleaned the work-tops since we all moved in. I have a few times, but I stopped doing so as soon as I stopped eating/cooking in there. I only go in there if I want milk from the fridge. It’s so horrible. I’m not sure if this is insignificant to you, but for someone who loves food as much as I do, I won’t disrespect it. I can’t enjoy cooking, if the place I’m preparing food in is unhygienic. In less than 20 days, I’ll be back home in London, at my sister’s house, visiting family and friends – I know they’ll encourage me to cook and enjoy it all over again. So, until then, sorry no recipes. I can’t lie to you and post a recipe I haven’t tried. Sorry! I’ll update you on my life and the craziness that happens until then.

You lot are a funny bunch. I often look at what people search for in order to find this page. My favourites, so far, are “ninja girl eat indian” and “chocolate ninja eat indian”. I like how you know my love of eating, but I really don’t eat Indians.

I’ll be posting again soon, so watch this space. Wait, you can’t leave yet! Have a look at this camel taking a selfie, and then you can go. Ciao!