Recipe: Punjabi Sweet and Sour Spiced Pumpkin

Appetizer at Badmaash

It's the start of pumpkin season and we have a special treat from Indian gastropub Badmaash -- this Punjabi pumpkin dish is the chef's family recipe going back five generations. And we all know family recipes are the most special! The chef notes that once the pumpkin is cooking, be sure to only lightly mix and saute the vegetable, as it's fragile and only gets softer as it cooks down. Serve it with rice or flat bread like paratha or naan.

Punjabi Sweet and Sour Spiced Pumpkin

2 ounces canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
2 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
2 tablespoons ginger, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon Serrano chili pepper, finely chopped
6 cups pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon dried mango powder
1 1/2 tablespoon sugar
Sprigs of fresh cilantro

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In a large, nonstick pan or wok, heat the oil. Once oil is hot, add mustard seeds and allow them to crackle. Add fennel seeds and lightly mix. Once the fragrance of fennel is coming off the pan, add ginger, garlic and chilies.

Lightly mix until the aromas of ginger and garlic come off the pan, and the oil is separating from the mixture. (This just means the moisture from the ginger, garlic, and chilies have been released.)

Add diced pumpkin to pan and lightly saute until the oil mixture has fully coated the pumpkin. Cover the pan with a lid, and allow the pumpkin to cook at medium heat.

Mix occasionally, making sure that the pumpkin cooks evenly, keeping the pan covered.

Once pumpkin appears soft and cooked through, add salt, mango powder and sugar -- lightly mix seasonings in, and keep uncovered. Adjust seasonings and spicing according to taste preference.

Serve garnished with fresh cilantro.

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