Think October and Halloween immediately comes to mind, and you know what is inarguably the most common symbol associated with the festival? Why, the humble orange pumpkin, of course. The slightly-sweet vegetable and everything it features in (looking at you pumpkin spiced latte and pumpkin pie) automatically gets associated with fall. Is it because it matches with the colourful falling leaves? Or is it its ability to morph expertly into dishes that scream comfort and warmth like soups, stir-fries, and one-pot casseroles? Whatever the case maybe, none of us can deny the allure of the honey-hued vegetable during this season.
If you love pumpkin, then discover five pumpkin-based dishes, from fusion pumpkin and blue cheese paniyarams to the classic pumpkin spiced lattes that you should try. And if you’re someone who’s indifferent to it, these are sure to convert you.
Roasted Pumpkin & Goat Cheese Salad—Flax Healthy Living
The Mumbai-based cloud kitchen is known for its wholesome bowls and salads whipped up with organic, local produce, and this new addition to their menu is perfect to turn even those wary of pumpkin into fans. Pumpkin is first roasted, which adds more depth to its flavour, and is tossed with creamy goat cheese, honey-coated nuts, and seeds along with pomegranate, greens, and a zaatar dressing. Now here’s one way to make your boring desk lunches more interesting, while also getting your vitamins—the salad is high in protein and vitamin A.
Pumpkin, Blue Cheese & Caramelised Onion Paniyarams—Fig & Maple
Paniyarams are the perfect little snack—the south Indian classic features a rice-based batter stuffed with fillings and cooked in a special pan that lends it the quintessential round shape. At Fig & Maple in Delhi, try a unique fusion version that is made with pumpkin, blue cheese, and caramelised onion in the batter, and is served with creamy goat cheese mousse and a sharp raw mango thecha! Crispy and sweet-spicy in equal measures, it is a must-try.
Pumpkin Soup—Mag St. Café
Pumpkin soup is one of the more common dishes that has pumpkin as the star, and this version by Mag St. Cafe in Mumbai combines red pumpkin with red bell peppers and tomato for a delicious, well-balanced result that is sweet from the pumpkin and bell peppers, and tangy from the tomatoes. The vibrant bowl of soup is then topped with crunchy pumpkin seeds that add both texture and contrast to the dish. An ideal meal for when the evenings get a little chilly and you start watching reruns of Gilmore Girls on repeat.
Roasted Pumpkin Ravioli—SeeSaw
Who said pumpkin dishes can’t be glamorous? Pumpkin and pasta would not be the first combination that would come to mind when you think of the vegetable, but it truly shines in this SeeSaw dish that features ravioli stuffed with roasted pumpkin in a cheesy miso beurre blanc (butter sauce), and is topped with a crunchy walnut gremolata.
Pumpkin Spice Latte—Starbucks
Of course, no list of pumpkin-based dishes and drinks would be incomplete without the cult favourite—Starbucks’ Pumpkin Spice Latte (PSL), which turns 20 this year, and is so popular in the United States that it is a bigger marker of the arrival of fall then the actual change in weather. The classic PSL has an espresso that is topped with hot steamed milk, milk foam, a special pumpkin sauce, a healthy dollop of whipped cream, and, of course, a generous dusting of pumpkin spice, which is what makes PSL a PSL! If you’re an iced coffee girl, then enjoy the same flavor in cold form with a pumpkin spice iced latte, or the more decked-up pumpkin spice crème frappucino.