Now that Halloween is approaching we select the traditional and brightly-hued pumpkin (also known as squash) as our superfood of the month. Available in so many different shapes, colors and sizes this highly decorative vegetable is also packed full of health benefits you need to know about.
A versatile and healthy autumn staple
Autumn’s beautiful squashes are very versatile and can be used in dishes as varied as beer, bread, pies and soups. They offer us their healing and health providing benefits to see us through the darker days of winter.
A cup of cooked pumpkin has over the double of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A and helps promote a healthy eyesight. Like carrots it even allows you to have better vision in dim light. Pumpkin can help reduce the bad cholesterol, boost the immune system, improve heart and circulatory functions and help reduce the risk of cancer if eaten as part of a whole foods and plant based diet.
Very light in calories (only 49 per cup) and rich in fiber, pumpkin can be almost completely used as even the seeds can be washed, dried and baked in the oven for a delicious and healthy snack. They also make delightfully crunchy toppings to soup and salads - perfect to add a nutritional boost to your work lunch.
Collect those seeds and get ready to make the best possible use of this year’s carved pumpkin with this recipe by Stacey from www.goodnessis.com that fills the table with warmth, light and joy.
Roasted Pumpkin Palya
“There is something about the shape and color of a pumpkin in their round jolly state, glowing bright and light amongst the blackened droopy leaves and tangled stems, that makes you smile and a warm glow is ignited.”- Stacey.
- 1 kg peeled & chopped pumpkin (any kind of pumpkin works well here)
- 4 Tblsp ghee/oil, divided
- 60g/1 red capsicum
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 Tblsp bengal gram dahl
- 1 tsp black gram dahl (skinned & split)
- 1/4 tsp asafetida
- 6 – 8 fresh curry leaves
- 2 Tbsp dried/fresh coconut
- salt to taste
- handful of fresh coriander
Preheat the oven 210 C/410 F.
Wash the bengal gram and black gram in water, then cover with filtered water and leave to soak for 30 minutes to an hour. Drain and set aside.
Line a rimmed baking tray with baking paper.
Wash the pumpkin, peel and chop into 1, 1/2 cm pieces. Place in a bowl and drizzle with 3 tab melted ghee or oil. Toss until well coated, then place on the baking tray in the oven to roast until soft and golden brown around the edges, approximately 30 – 40 minutes.
Wash the capsicum and chop into small pieces. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed skillet, add the remainder of the ghee, then when hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the bengal gram and black gram dhal and fry until golden brown. Add the asafoetida and curry leaves and mix well.
Add the capsicum and fry for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, add the coconut and roasted pumpkin. Mix well, season with salt and sprinkle with fresh coriander when serving.
Serve with chapati, dosa or your favourite grain dish.