By Naini Setalvad May 2010 The humble golden vegetable is a powerhouse of nutrients, easy on the budget, and can be made into delicious dishes. GO GOLD!Relish the pumpkin with these delicious recipesPumpkin soupIngredients:250 gm pumpkin1 onion1 clove garlic2 tsp crushed pepperA pinch of cinnamon½ lemon1 tsp extra virgin olive oilSalt to tasteMethod:1. Boil the pumpkin and liquidise2. Sauté onion in the olive oil3. Add the liquidised pumpkin and boil.4. Add pepper, cinnamon and salt5. Squeeze lemon and serve.PUMPKIN RAITAIngredients:250 gm pumpkin1 cup low fat curd1 tsp roasted jeera powder3 tbsp coriander, chopped3 tbsp khajoor chutney1 green chilli, chopped fineRock salt to tasteMethod:1. Grate and boil pumpkin2. Mix with the curd3. Add the coriander, jeera powder, salt and chilli4. Garnish with khajoor chutney and coriander.PUMPKIN AND RED CAPSICUM VEGETABLEIngredients:250 gm pumpkin, diced2 red capsicums, diced3 round red chillies2-3 tbsp dried kasturi methi½ an onion3 sticks curry leavesMethod:Saute the chilli, kasturi methi, onions and red chilli in a little oil.1. Add the pumpkin and the red capsicum2. Cook on low flame 3. Mash to a pulp, or coarsely blend before serving. Pumpkin – bhopla in Marathi, kaddu in Hindi, kolu in Gujarati, parangikkai in Tamil and kumra in Bengali are different names for a vegetable available all over the country. It is popular in the western as well as the Mediterranean worlds. I simply love this vegetable and can sing an ode to it. I get withdrawal symptoms if it is not cooked in my home twice or thrice a week.Do you know that pumpkin is a dieter’s delight? It is low in calories (20 cal per 100 g), has zero fat, is easy to digest, and blends with almost any food.It is also a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants are the little soldiers that fight the damage done by free radicals caused by chemicals, pollution, and as a byproduct of breathing. Nature, however, compensates by giving us antioxidants in red, yellow, green, and orange coloured foods. That is why pumpkin is highly rated. Pumpkin is great for eye health as it is high in beta-carotene. Although carrots are good for eyesight, they are not available all the year around unlike pumpkin. Being a water-based vegetable it is very light and cooling in summer. A cup of carrot contains 13,000 beta-carotene units while a cup of pumpkin is loaded with 33,000 beta-carotene units.• High in vitamin A so great for the skin and the hair.• Rich in potassium, therefore ideal for people suffering from high blood pressure.• Aids in treatment for prostrate, kidneys and gall bladder.• Regular intake of pumpkin and its seeds is excellent for men’s health. The seeds are high in zinc and they keep the prostrate healthy. Zinc is an essential requirement for both men and women for overall health. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, and essential fatty acids.• Helps to eradicate tapeworm and roundworm from the intestines during an infection.• Good source of fibre, prevents constipation, and improves bowel movement.• Contains vitamin C so it increases immunity.How to eat?Rinse thoroughly before use.Cut into small cubes and remove the skin and seeds. You can also cook the pumpkin, and then cut and peel it. Pumpkin can also be boiled or steamed until tender. You can mash it into a puree or a soup, and bake it. It is a versatile vegetable. It lends itself well to almost all cuisines. Use it as a raita, koftas, or dumplings in sambar and stew, or in combination with other vegetables.
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