We woke up to Jingle Bells on Saturday morning. It was bad enough that I was squashed between two people who I could not out-snore. Then to wake up to Christmas music, in the middle of Diwali, while it's still Fall, now that's outright blasphemy. Add to it the misery of not being able to find the remote to turn the darned thing off! And when I found it, it was yanked from my hands: Mumma! It's Christmas music! They're playing Christmas music! Jingle bells! Jingle Bells! Jingle all the way! She then proceeded to dance through the house, turning on every device that had a radio. I was not sure which was worse, the music or a chirpy person first thing in the morning.
It took me a while to get used to Christmas music the day after Thanksgiving. It may be hard to believe but I actually love Christmas music. Especially Christmas carols. But I get sick of it when that's the only thing playing on the radio. Now I have press all the buttons on my Bose and hope to set the alarm to another radio station. I sleep through the beep-beep-beep-beeeeeeep, all 90 seconds of it. I never hear it because it is predictable. Radio is different. It could be a song that brings back memories leading to a warm morning snuggle, it could be the talk-show host being her annoying self, it could be a bad commercial, it could be the weather or the news or traffic on I-25. It's never the same thing at that exact time every day.
But Jingle Bells before Thanksgiving? I mean come on! There are still so many leaves on the trees!
Dogwood tree, November 13, 2007
And, there are all those pumpkins to cook! Pumpkin becomes slightly sweetish when cooked and therefore complements spices very well. There is a lot that can be done with pumpkin apart from Pumpkin pie and pumpkin soup. Try making this pumpkin and potato curry. We love it!
- 1 small pie pumpkin, chopped into small cubes
- 5-6 medium potatoes, cubed to same size as the pumpkin
- 1-2 tbsp oil
- 1 tsp panch phoran
- a pinch of hing
- 1 dried red chilli, broken into two pieces
- 1 tejpatta
- 2 inch knob of ginger
- 2 medium size cloves of garlic
- 2 green chillies, sliced vertically and seeds discarded
- 1.5 tsp jeera powder
- 1.5 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
- 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
- 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp amchur powder
- salt to taste
- some chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Pound the green chillies, ginger and garlic in a mortar and pestle into a corase mixture.
- Heat oil in the pan of your pressure cooker.
- Add the panch phoran and when it splutters, add hing, then red chilli pieces and then tejpatta.
- Then add the pounded mixture of green chillies, ginger and garlic.
- Add the potatoes and the pumpkin and stir.
- Mix all the dry spices except for the amchur powder with a few teaspoons of water to make a paste.
- Add this to the pan and stir well. Cook for a few minutes till you can smell the fragrance of the masalas start to waft through. About 3-4 minutes.
- Add 2 and half cups of water and cook under pressure until the first whistle or its equivalent.
- Allow to cool till you can open the pressure cooker without hurting yourself. Add the amchur powder and mix well. Then add chopped cilantro leaves and serve with naan or roti or paratha.
- If you don't have panch phoran, don't fret. Take 2 pinches each of mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds. You can buy pre-mixed panch phoran in the stores but I find it unnecessarily expensive when I can put it together in a jiffy as I usually have all these seeds in my pantry.
- The long list of ingredients may seem daunting but it's just a question of organizing yourself to have these things ready before you start cooking. And they are everyday spices. Maybe not panch phoran for many of you but you will find that once you have used panch phoran, you will start looking for more recipes with this fragrant mix of seeds.
- I have adapted this from the original recipe that was posted here by the lovely Sangeeta. I have increased the amount of pumpkin and potatoes and reduced the level of spice. This seems to work very well for us, especially now that Medha can handle a little more spice than before.
- Be careful while cutting that pumpkin! Cut your pumpkin first and then figure out how many potatoes you will need. You want as much pumpkin as potatoes.
It looks like I am not the only one in the mood for savory pumpkin dishes. Be sure to check out:
ISG's Pumpkin Parathas
Madhoo's Red Pumpkin Curry
Happy Cook's Pumpkin and Potato Soup
Anita's Baakar Bhaji
Srivalli's Gummadikaya Gojju
Richa's Butternut Squash
I am sending this in to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging which is being hosted by Vanessa of What Geeks Eat.