Friday, October 31, 2014

Pumpkin cutlets - color, crunch, spice to celebrate beautiful autumn

I was just thinking yesterday that if I keep up the rate at which I am writing my blog posts, I would be doing one per season and talking about changing seasons :-), do I see heads nodding out there? come on, really, I am not that infrequent. Didn't I chat with you all when the trees were just turning colors at the tips? now that I said it aloud, I guess it has been a while since they are all in full colors now. Life has been going at supersonic speed and before I realize the weekend would have whizzed past and planted me right at the start of a work week. This week we had a fall festival at work and I took some delicious veggie fried rice with cucumber raita making it right bang in the middle of work week. Not that I am complaining, I am savoring all of it..
Today being Halloween, we have been opening the door to kids dressed up in different costumes since evening and sharing candies with them, Elsa (from Frozen) seems to be the 'in costume' for little girls while spiderman is going strong with the little guys :-). My own little girl is all grown up for 'trick or treating' and she would have done some horror movie watching with her friends if it was not her college application time, she is heads down into work currently. Flora is excitedly barking every time someone comes up the front steps but waits patiently behind me as I hand out candies to the kids and do small talk with them :-), she just wants to be part of the excitement.

Back to blogging, last week, on my grocery shopping I spotted these really bright orange colored, perfectly round and cute looking pumpkins in the store and on a whim bought one. DD & BH thought it was a carving pumpkin as Halloween was just around the corner and became apprehensive knowing my free hand skills :-). I had to reassure them that I had no plans to show off my carving creativity on the pumpkin but rather was planning to cook with it. Since I bought the pumpkin home without any idea of a recipe, I wanted to be adventurous this time and try out something new and outside of my repertoire.
A quick search landed me on these really toasty looking pumpkin fritters which immediately reminded me of the Indian cutlets. Cutlets are some of the very popular and sought after snacks in India. You can make cutlets with pretty much any vegetable as long as you have something that binds the ingredients together, some of the common choices being starchy roots like potatoes, sweet potatoes, plantains etc. Coated with a coarse powder like bread crumbs or rava gives the final product a toasty finish whether you deep fry, shallow fry or bake them in the oven. DD has loved cutlets ever since she first had them on a train journey in India. Infact her top 2 reasons for making a train journey in India are the upper births where she gets to cuddle up with a book and the cutlets or other food served during the journey :-)
The version of cutlets I have today don't have any of the usual suspects, but does blend two vastly different ingredients to make them work together. Pumpkin puree brings a subtle aroma and flavor while bland garbanzo beans add body to the cutlet. They are crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The original recipe had hemp seeds which I replaced with sesame seeds and instead of the vinegar, I used lemon juice and amchoor powder.

What do you need to make pumpkin cutlets?
Recipe source
1 cup cooked chick peas/garnanzo beans (I used the can)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1 Tsp red chili powder (adjust to taste)
1 Tsp sesame seeds
1 Tsp salt (adjust to taste)
1/2 Tsp amchoor (dry mango) powder
1 Tsp lemon/lime juice
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro
2 Tbsp oil to shallow fry
3/4 - 1 cup bread crumbs
How do you make pumpkin cutlets?
  • Take chick peas in a bowl, slightly mash them
  • Add the pumpkin puree and all other ingredients except for bread crumbs & oil.
  • Make golf ball sized balls from the mixture, roll them completely in bread crumbs.
  • Heat a pan/griddle (preferably cast iron for even heating)
  • Add a couple of drops of oil on the pan, flatten the bread coated balls to make patties, place them on the hot pan.
  • Fry on medium heat until the bottom turns bright pink. 
  • Flip over, add a couple drops on the top and cook until the other side turns pink too. 
  • Serve off the pan with a dollop of ketchup or green chutney   
  • I used home made puree, use canned if you don't have it. Also, I picked out just the cooked pumpkin pieces and mashed them with the beans, don't use the water in this recipe as it makes the mixture very soft. 
  • If the mixture becomes too damp, use a spoon of besan or plain AP flour.

1 comment:

NamsVeni Pothas said...

pumpkin cutlets real mouth watering. happy Halloween to Sattva readers. trees are looking very pretty with color full leaves. winter is already put her entry here . i like winter.