I can think of many such ingredients that periodically appear in my pantry. One such recent irritant was the pumpkin puree that I purchased to make pumpkin brownies for our Thanksgiving meal. While these were turned out to be delightful, they actually called for far less pumpkin puree than I thought they would, leaving me with an entire can of an ingredient that I rarely use. This led to the creation of the pumpkin banana bread, which was also a pleasant addition to my kitchen. But I still found myself left with about a cup of this lovely orange pumpkin puree, begging to be incorporated into another recipe. So, over one of the surprisingly few rainy weekends we’ve had so far, I came up with this recipe for pumpkin fritters.
After a little experimentation, these fritters were deemed a smashing success. The slight nuttiness of the pumpkin combines very well with the heat of the Indian spices. If you can find it, I highly recommend the addition of the dried fenugreek leaves. They are pleasantly bitter and add a nice depth to the flavor of these fritters. If you can’t find them, a half cup of diced red onions should make an acceptable substitute.
Serve these with ketchup or an aioli sauce and a hot cup of tea on a cold, rainy day.
Makes about a dozen fritters
1 C pumpkin puree
1 C all-purpose flour
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cumin seeds
3 T dried fenugreek leaves (Kasuri methi) OR ½ C diced red onions
Vegetable or canola oil for frying fritters
To make the fritters
Sift dry ingredients together
Add pumpkin puree and egg, and stir until smooth
Keep refrigerated until ready to use, upto a day
Heat oil in a skillet for frying the fritters
To test if oil is hot enough, drop a tiny ball of dough into the oil. It should float to the top immediately, without sinking much. At this point, reduce heat to medium-low
Drop fritter dough by the spoonful into oil
Fry until evenly deep brown on all sides*
Drain briefly on paper towels, and serve immediately
*If you find that the outsides are browning faster than the insides can cook, reduce the size of your fritters, and let oil cool a little before continuing.