Long before Halloween, people used to eat pumpkin! I know, call me crazy but it’s a squash, it’s for eating…ya ya it makes a fantastic Jack-o-lantern too. I’m just saying that in days of old the native people actually grew them for eating. They were also used as a defense, a kind of barbed wire. It’s a growing technique coined as the Three Sisters, corn, squash and beans. The corn was planted in the center, the beans grew up the corn and the spiky squash plant was placed at base of both plants to protect them from critters.
One way I love to use pumpkin is with lots of spices, it is a wonderful way to get the kids used to highly flavored foods without being spicy “hot”. Pumpkin and curry is classic in Thai food and we just love coconut at our house, so it’s a perfect match. The problem with pumpkins is that they can be tough little buggers to cut into. I have a drawer full of knives, big ones so I’m covered, If you don’t here is a trick.
Carefully stab a few slits in your pumpkin, place in microwave for 5 minutes. Remove it, hold it with a towel and cut in to peices. It should be softer but depending on the size it may need more time.
No Fuss Coconut Curry Pumpkin
One of the spices I use in my cooking is methi, the leaves of the Fennegreek plant. They are distinct and subtle and add that Eastern flavor. Crush the Methi in your fingers to release the fragrance before using. It is always easier to cut produce wityh the flat side down so it stays put.
1 small sugar pumpkin
1 Tsp Methi
1/2 tsp Tumeric
1/2 tsp dried ginger
1 tsp curry powder
1 can coconut milk
3 Tbs coconut oil, melted
Preheat oven to 425
Cut pumpkin in half, scoop out all the seeds and set them aside for roasting. Cut the pumpkin in half and then into wedges or chunks. Try to make them similar sizes so they will cook evenly. Place wedges peel side down into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. using a pastry brush, coat the pumpkin flesh with the coconut oil. Pour the coconut milk drizzling it all over the pieces. Sprinkle the spice mixture over the pieces. Bake for about 45 minutes or until pumpkin is soft.
Serve with Jasmine rice, sautéed spinach and chickpeas.
Classic Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
This is perfect for after your family has carved pumpkins, you should have lots of seeds.
1 1/2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F.
Clean off any major pumpkin chunks. (I like the left over pumpkin strings when cooked so we leave them on)
Toss pumpkin seeds in a bowl with melted butter or oil and salt.
Spread pumpkin seeds on a rimmed baking sheet in one layer.
Bake for about 45-1 hour minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Cool on sheet, put in a pretty container.
Keep at room temperature sealed for up to a week.