Spiced Up Thanksgiving with Skewered Pumpkin Recipe from India Cookbook

Without upsetting anyone, wouldn't you like to have spiced up Thanksgiving dinner with a few new touches here and there.

Maybe someone at the table is a vegetarian or you invited Indian friends.

Browsing through the many recipes (1000 of them) gathered in the India Cookbook (Phaidon, November 2010), I noticed the Lauki ki Seekh ('Skewered Pumpkin) dish on page 93 and thought this could be a welcome change from pumpkin soup or pumpkin pie.

Here's the Lauki ki Seekh Skewered Pumpkin recipe:

Origin Awadh

Preparation time 30-40 minutes, plus cooling time

Cooking time 8-10 minutes

Serves 4


300g / 11oz (2 2/3 cups) peeled and grated pumpkin

300g / 11oz Paneer (see recipe below), grated

3 tablespoons chopped onion

1 x 1 cm / ½ inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped

4 tablespoons chopped carrot

1 tablespoon chopped green chili

20g / ¾ oz (½ cup) chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves1

pinch of ground allspice2

30g / 1 ¼ oz green chili paste

1-2 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs, for binding

ground white pepper



Parboil the grated pumpkin with a pinch of salt in a pan of boiling water for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Drain, then put the pumpkin into a bowl of cold water to cool.

Prepare a tandoor3 or charcoal grill for a moderate heat, or alternatively preheat the grill (broiler) to medium. When cold, put the pumpkin into a clean towel and squeeze to remove any excess water. Transfer to a clean bowl, and add the paneer, onion, ginger, carrot, chili, and coriander and mix well. Season with salt and white pepper, then add the ground spices, green chili paste and breadcrumbs and mix thoroughly until the mixture binds together. Divide the mixture into 16 equal portions.

Using damp hands, mould some of the mixture into a sausage shape along the length of metal skewers. Roast in a moderately hot tandoor, over a charcoal grill or under the hot grill for 8-10 minutes.

Assorted Spices

1 coriander (cilantro) is an annual herb, the entirety of which is used in Indian cooking: the fresh leaves as a garnish or in green chutney; the whole seeds in temperings, pickling spices and some non-vegetarian dishes; the powdered seeds, or ground coriander, is among the most commonly used spices in everyday cooking.

2 allspice is a spice made from the dried berries of a small tree. The name is derived from the berry’s fragrance, thought to resemble a blend of cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

3 Tandoor: The clay tandoor oven used in the Indus valley dates as long ago as 3,000 BC. Traditionally they were heated with burning charcoal, but modern tandoor ovens are often heated with electricity. A skilled tandoor cook can manipulate the heat of the oven to bake, roast or grill a variety of foods.

(Recipe and 'Assorted Spices' illustration From India Cookbook by Pushpesh Pant (November 2010) $49.95, courtesy of Phaidon)

Previous Post

Brussels Daily Digest from Train Strikes to Comedy Clubs on Xpats, English Only

Nov 22
Moving to Brussels or just landed there, Xpats could be a valuable resource to you, especially if your French is lacking as Xpats is an English language site. They cover practical questions through the Q&A, for example how to find au pairs and babysitters and daily news like the upcoming 30 hours railway strike starting Tuesday (November 23). More whimsical events like the Custoprothetik show of custom-designed prosthetic limbs at design shop Septante Sept opening...
Next Post

Alone in Sydney for Thanksgiving 2010, Celebrate Holiday at Blue Plate Bar and Grill

Nov 23
It can really feel lousy being away from home on a holiday like Thanksgiving and not knowing anyone to celebrate with over dinner. Shortly after I wrote Soul Food Thanksgiving Dinner is Served in Sydney which was really sharing tips and a sample menu, though the mysterious ways of the web, I found out that this Thanksgiving 2010, if you happen to be 'stuck' in Sydney away from friends, loved ones and home, there is...