As is the case for most women, I am always on the look-out for dishes that are healthy and tasty. Don’t let the cynics fool you. Find the right ingredients and use the right cooking technique: one can always fight the weight-gain/loss battle. The following words will lead you to a wonderful way to get rid of your hunger pangs without feeling an ounce of guilt. This creamy, golden-sun liquid gives you your daily dose of Vitamin A, adds glow to your cheeks and a spring in your step. Chow down with a couple of whole-wheat dinner rolls and you are good to go!
1 kg (2.2 pounds) pumpkin (peeled and chopped)
2 tbsp butter or olive oil
1 large onion (ground into a fine paste)
chicken or vegetable stock – 1 litre. See note below on how to make stock
2 sprigs of thyme
2 tbsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
For garnish – add roasted pumpkin seeds
1) Add garlic paste and onion paste to melted butter and cook on medium heat.
2) Add thyme to the paste mixture and cook for a few minutes.
3) Add the chopped pumpkin and let it cook out for about 7 minutes. Cook till the pumpkin is tender.
4) Add the spices (coriander, cumin, chilli) and cook for a few more minutes.
5) Add stock and cook it to a rolling boil.
6) Add salt to taste. This depends on how salty your stock is.
7) Garnish with a handful of roasted pumpkin seeds for a different texture and flavour to the soup.
8) Now send this to all the cynics in the world!
Note: To make stock at home, add all the vegetables and herbs and spices you have at home and cook with water in a pressure cooker: For example: Take an onion, a carrot, tomato, 2 cloves of chopped garlic, 1/4 inch knob of chopped ginger, beans, a broccoli stalk, half a bunch of spinach leaves, half a bay leaf, salt and pepper to taste (I skip the salt as I add it to the soup at the end), 1/2 tsp of turmeric, paprika, dried thyme, oregano. Cook the veggies with water to the brim in a pressure cooker for about 15 minutes. Drain the veggies and store the additional stock in the freezer for use in the future. Do not throw away the cooked vegetables as they can be used to make a quick vegetable stir-fry or a vegetable pulao.