Yes I am talking about red pumpkin (called bhopla in Mumbai and lal kumroo in Bengal). It’s the key ingredient in two dishes I love: Pumpkin Cake at The Bagel Shop, Bandra, http://www.zomato.com/mumbai/the-bagel-shop-bandra-west and Pumkpin & Feta Quiche at Birdsong Café, Bandra http://www.zomato.com/mumbai/the-birdsong-bandra-west hence this blog is dedicated to pumpkin.
I’ve been eating pumpkin cake for ages courtesy my America-based aunt who created her own recipe (modified an applesauce cake recipe) and made it her families’ signature celebration cake. If you eat it you, you will understand why it’s accorded pride of place. One of the Pumpkin Cake fans, says, “It is an adult cake.” Anil Kably, owner of the Bagel Shop, tasted it and said, “Its full of flavour, bursting with raisins and walnuts, its fantastic,” and then asked me to bake it for sale. It has been available exclusively at the Bagel Shop since early this year. I invite to visit the Bagel Shop and try it if you haven’t already. Full of the golden goodness of pumpkin combined with a generous portion of walnuts and California raisins, low in added sugar and butter. Enjoy it with a coffee (try Blue Tokai direct from coffee growers if you have a well-developed coffee palate) or mint green tea or a fruit smoothie for a light bite or for breakfast. If you have a good appetite, have a bagel, the 3 cheese open pizza bagel is my favourite veg one or a non veg bagel (Roasted Chicken or Bacon & Ham Bagel) or salad (The Arugula Pasta salad with chicken is recommended).
The Pumpkin and Feta Quiche at Birdsong is delicious, melt in the mouth good, despite being vegetarian (no egg unlike most quiches). I had to introduce more friends to it, visited with expert travel and food blogger http://followmyrecipe.blogspot.in/ yesterday. She loved it too!
On the subject of pumpkin, I remembered eating a hearty pumpkin soup at the Mahabaleshwar Club so did some research on it. And found many versions – a Dutch soup, a Thai one, check out http://www.nigella.com/search/results/all/11900552
Bengalis are very fond of pumpkin, eating both the light yellow version (kacha kumroo) and the ripe version; making Niramish Tarkari, Chochari, Chokka and pumpkin with tamarind but I always have a struggle at home to make the family eat it as a vegetable. If you have any great pumpkin recipes do let me know so I can try it out…