Autumn’s coming ! Pumpkin Raita

In another sign that summer is on it’s way out, that very autumn vegetable – pumpkin – has started to appear in the vegetable aisles.

To give them their due, the girls do eat it without much fuss even if I make  petha (a sweet and sour preparation that I grew up on and love) with it, and it blends so easily in to soups too.

But they definitely like it best when I make a raita with it. And as has become Indira’s wont, when I cook these days something she likes, yesterday too she said to me, when I made this raita for dinner ,”PLEASE tell me how you made it, I REALLY would love to make this when I am bigger”.

So here’s the recipe, for my chef-in-the-making.

Pumpkin Raita (serves 4)

250 gms of yoghurt

150-200 gms of pumpkin

3 tablespoons of dessicated coconut(optional; the raita is nice even without this ingredient)

salt to taste

a pinch of asoefetida, 2 tsp of sunflower oil, 1/2 tsp of mustard seeds, and 4-5 curry leaves for tempering

( optional -1 dried red chilli for the tempering)

1 tablespoon of finely chopped green coriander

Peel and chop the pumpkin, then pressure cook it till it is soft enough to be mashed.

Add the salt to the yoghurt and whisk gently with a spoon or fork. Heat the oil in a small pan. Add the mustard seeds and when they pop add the curry leaves (and the red chilli if you are going to use one) and fry for a few seconds. Add the asoefetida once you have taken the pan off the heat (or the asoefetida might burn) and pour this tempering in to the yoghurt. Mix it in, as well as the coconut. Now add the mashed pumpkin, and the coriander and mix everything thoroughly.

As with most recipes I post, this one too benefits, I feel, from being made a little while ahead of eating, so that all the flavors mingle.

It goes quite well with pulavs, and helps up the vegetable quotient of a meal like last night’s when I only made a curry with black-eyed beans, and paranthas with dough made from the previous day’s leftover daal and aloo palak.


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