Happy Thanksgiving from Café Spice!

Spice-up your Thanksgiving holiday with some of our favorite pumpkin recipes from Chef Hari Nayak!
Recipes from Chef Hari’s, The Cafe Spice Cookbook published by Tuttle.



Pumpkin Pickle:
Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
4 dried red chili peppers, broken into 2-3 pieces each
1 Lb 9oz peeled pumpkin flesh, cut into 1/2 inch dice
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon Asian red chili powder or cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
5 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons dried mango powder (optional)

Heat the oil in a pan, add fenugreek seeds and dried red chilies and let them pop.
Add the pumpkin and stir over a high heat for 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the salt, chili powder, and turmeric. Then reduce the heat, cover, and cook until the pumpkin is soft and begins to break down.
Stir in the sugar – the sweetness balances the heat and spice and also makes the pickle glossy.
Finish with the dried mango, if using.




Homestlye Dal with Pumpkin:
Serves 6
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes

2 cups dried masoor dal or split lentils of your choice, washed and drained
8oz pumpkin, peeled and dices into 3/4 inch dice
7 cups water
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1-1/2 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons oil
2-1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
2 dried red chili peppers, broken in half
6-8 fresh curry leaves
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 tablespoon peeled and minced fresh ginger
2 fresh green chili peppers, minced
1 tomato, diced
1 teaspoon Asian red chili powder or cayenne pepper
4 tablespoons minced fresh coriander leaves (cilantro)
Juice of 1/2 lime

Bring the dal (lentils), pumpkin, and water to a boil in a heavy pot. Remove any surface skin that collects on the top. Add turmeric and salt and reduce the heat to low. Cover, leaving the lid slightly ajar, and simmer gently for 20-30 minutes or until the lentils become soft and mushy and the pumpkin is fully cooked. Stir often to prevent sticking. Set aside.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and let them sizzle for 3-4 seconds, Add the dried red chili peppers, curry leaves, garlic, ginger, green chili peppers, tomatoes and Asian red chili powder or cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Add the cooked lentils and pumpkin to this mixture. Mix well, adding more water as needed. The consistency should be like a soft porridge. Taste for seasoning and add salt if needed.
Stir in fresh coriander (cilantro) leaves and lime juice. Transfer to serving bowl – Serve hot!