Let me share with you the winter vegetable scene in Bombay. Unlike most parts of the world, winters are when we get the freshest produce at the best prices. Markets and supermarket shelves are brimming with tomatoes, cauliflowers, apples, oranges and fresh green peas. Green peas that generally cost around Rs.50 a kg in the summers are at 20 Rs a kilo (over 2 pounds). If you have a few bored kids at home or a house help you can use, it's great to have fresh green peas on hand. Use them in Pilafs, Alu-Mutter, Savoury bakes, Peas soup or eat them just like that. I use frozen peas the rest of the year, not only because of the prices but also because, being off-season, the produce may just not be fresh.
Along with cluster beans, French beans and Haricot beans, tomatoes, bell peppers and herbs, I wonder what made me pick up a large wedge of red pumpkin as I was shopping for vegetables in our nearby supermarket yesterday. I had blogged about this one for From my rasoi - Pumpkin in September. This red pumpkin was cooked and mashed into a batch of lentils, greens and spices to make a Parsee Dhansak.
It's a replay for Pumpkin on Saffron trail. Today we've had a kind of cool afternoon (around 25 degrees celcius) Saturdays are my favourite day of the week. It's a day to laze, catch up on friends, watch some perfectly useless movies running on TV or just catch up with the hubby. Since we have a beautiful concert lined up for the evening (Remember Shakti - see youtube video below), I knew I wouldn't be cooking dinner. Also since I haven't baked anything in a while, this beautiful Saturday afternoon felt like the perfect time to raise up some warm, enticing aromas in the kitchen. After scouring through the FMR pumpkin round up and a whole lot of blogs that featured pumpkin recipes all through Thanksgiving, I shortlisted the following:
Steamed pumpkin cake - Recipezaar
Pumpkin bread pudding - Spicyana
Pumpkin Coffee cake - Cook's hideout
Pumpkin Raisin bread - Fivestarrecipes
Finally decided on the pumpkin raisin bread because it was low on fat and low on sugar too. Red pumpkin is rich in carotenoids, ginger and cinnamon are great spices to warm you up for the winter while jaggery is rich in irons and essential minerals.
The result was a DELICIOUS, bursting with tastes, soft, brown cake. All without the guilt of having used sugar or butter. This one is a keeper. I might do experiements with the recipe using other vegetables / fruits.
I almost followed the recipe except for using a tbsp of finely grated ginger. But here is the recap for you.
Spicy Pumpkin Coffee cake
Time taken - 1 hr 10 minutes including baking time
Category - Low fat/cal baking, Healthy dessert, Diabetic dessert
Preparation - Take a large wedge of red pumpkin. Peel of the skin with a strong handled peeler. Using a fine grater, grate the peeled pumpkin chunk. Microwave / steam the grated pumpkin for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Keep aside.
1/3 rd cup vegetable oil (I used soybean oil rich in Vitamin E)
Packed half cup powdered jaggery (Can substitute with brown sugar)
1 packed cup - Grated and steamed pumpkin
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
2 tbsp Zero cook and bake (sugar substitute)
1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup wheat flour (atta)
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup raisins ( I used organic Greek black currants)
1/2 cup skimmed milk (can use orange juice too)
In a large bowl, beat together the oil, jaggery, sugar substitute, eggs, ginger and pumpkin until light and fluffy.
Combine the flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt,cinnamon and raisins in a bowl. Stir into the egg mixture with the milk.
Pour into an oiled 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. Bake at 350 F / 175 C for 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the loaf pan and cool on a wire rack. Cut into thick slices and serve with your favourite coffee or tea.
A slice of this Spicy Pumpkin Coffeecake goes to WHB hosted by Swank Caterers at What's cooking in Carolina?
~You may adjust the jaggery / sugar used depending on the sweetness of the pumpkin. I used more than what the recipe asked for because the pumpkin was pretty bland.
~If you'd like to use this as an after dinner cake, you can soak some dark rum into the cake once it is cooled. Rum makes this cake real exotic. Don't ask me how I know.
~If you'll be sharing it with kids, use 1/4th cup of orange juice to soak into the cake to make it softer and richer in flavour.
~This a wonderful dessert for diabetics and weight watchers alike.
Labels: Desserts, Fresh from the oven