A lot of ingredients tend to often become very trendy. Various restaurants flaunt their menus full of innovative dishes and often you find it will be a single ingredient that is common in almost all of them. Take for example beetroot or potatoes. You will find them in every sort of combination or creation and have become very popular. Sadly the level of excitement is not the same when it comes to our humble pumpkin.
Pumpkin is probably the one ingredient that is grossly under estimated because apart from just kadu sabzi you find in many households, there is plenty more you can make with it. Some restaurants have decided to get creative and we have picked some of our favourite pumpkin inspired dishes from across the city for you this winter season.
Caramelised pumpkin with feta and spinach at Café Zoe - You do not find many appetisers with pumpkin but at Café Zoe, they always like to play with ingredients and come up with different dishes. Their entire menu is fantastic as are their specials but this simple pumpkin starter caught our attention more than anything else. It is big beautiful pieces of pumpkin that are caramelised and sweetened and topped with plenty of fresh spinach and feta cheese. It is deceptively filling and a great pumpkin inspired dish.
Pumpkin ravioli at Grandmama's Café - There are some classic combos and fillings when it comes to ravioli, and along with spinach, ricotta and mushrooms, pumpkin is one of the popular fillings. The homemade pumpkin and sage ravioli at Grandmama's Café in Lower Parel is a beautiful dish. It comes served with a cream dill flavoured cheese sauce and it is a hearty meal with just the right amount of pumpkin in it.
Dhansak at Jimmy Boy - One of the most popular dishes in Parsi cuisine is the dhansak and while there is always a debate on which is a better version – mutton or chicken, many people do not realise that the key and base ingredient for this dish is pumpkin. There are so many different spices and lentils added to it that it does not taste like a typical pumpkin dish. Even if you skip the meat and eat a vegetarian version it is still packed with flavour and Jimmy Boy serves up a delicious dhansak.
Pumpkin soup at Mia Cucina - One of the best ways to enjoy pumpkin is to eat it as a thick luscious warm soup and the one served up at Mia Cucina in Powai is a great place to indulge in one. The soup here is rich, creamy and is ideal for when you have the sniffles or are craving something warn and soothing. To be honest almost everything on this menu is worth eating but this soup is one of their highlights.
Pumpkin pie ice cream at Lemon Leaf - We love ice cream just as much as the next person, but are used to more familiar flavours like chocolate or strawberry or even the fruit based ones at Natural's. This particular pumpkin pie ice cream at Lemon Leaf in Colaba is shockingly delicious. We were not expecting such a sweet subtle flavour and while they have a couple of whacky and innovative choices, this is possibly the best of the lot.
Better known as the Tiny Taster, Roxanne is an internationally respected blogger and expert on the Mumbai food scene. She has hosted many events, including the Upper Crust Food & Wine Show and travels the world, sharing her knowledge and gaining more experience.
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