Two Pumpkin Recipes that will make your winter better

I re-imagined ‘Pumpkin’ or ‘Kaddu’ in to a savoury cake as well as a Spaghetti avatar

Pumpkin. ‘Kaddu’ (in hindi), ‘Kumro’ (in Bengali). To think I used to hate Pumpkin while growing up. I never found the texture of Pumpkin interesting. Squishy, soft , what was there to like?

To me food creates one of the strongest memories , it can bring back a whole barrage of emotions. It uses all your senses at once- you first smell, maybe you smell the aroma while the dish is getting cooked, the interest builds, you see the dish, maybe you see the colours & you anticipate what it will taste like, you take the first spoonful or maybe you use your hand to eat and the flavours hit you, your brain responds with the first taste, nothing else matters at that moment- that’s how a good dish taste like. That’s how a mother’s or a grandmother’s cooking tastes like , I could be extremely biased here.

But Pumpkin , pumpkin never held me in such trance. But then I grew up, thank god, and developed better taste. And I came to appreciate the subtle flavours of pumpkin based dishes especially Bengali ones like ‘Kumror Chokka’ or ‘Paanch Torkari’ , all seasoned with the roasted spice ‘Paanch Phoron’, (Panch phoron is a whole spice blend, consists fenugreek seed, nigella seed, cumin seed, black mustard seed and fennel seeds) native to bengali cuisine.

Coming back to the present, when Vivek & I moved to Bangalore, I suddenly found myself unable to escape Pumpkins, they are everywhere; the vegetable markets, and in backyard kitchen gardens, and ever present in the meals I have. Huge, fat, available in a variety of shapes; green, orange, white. The south Indians sure love their Pumpkins. So I succumbed and I started cooking with it. And I have to say, that I grossly underestimated them. They are worthy hero for a dish. And elevate a dish to tasty heights.

So, I created these simple easy Pumpkin recipes. Both of these dishes use freshly made Pumpkin pureé and answers the question ‘What to make with fresh pumpkin,? I used red Pumpkin here.

(Please note that both recipes use eggs).

  1. Pumpkin Pureé + Turmeric sauce Spaghetti

  2. Savoury Garam masala spice & spiced rum Pumpkin Cake (made with Ghee)

Both these dishes are good for a weekend dinner or a small dinner party with close friends.

There are myriad South Indian Pumpkin recipes on the internet and a million winter squash recipes. So, I created recipes that use both local produce; Indian red pumpkin and use spices that are so easily present in every Indian pantry. In short they are not ‘sabzis’.


1) Recipe for Savoury Garam masala spice & spiced rum Pumpkin Cake (made with Ghee)

Yields: For 2 people

Category: Weeknight Meal, Simple Dinner Parties, Lébu collections

What are savoury cakes: If you are wondering what is a savoury cake good for,read on. They are simply delicious treats which are not sweet. Now a good savoury cake can live in your pantry for a few days and can be mixed and matched with various ingredients for a good lunch or a meal. Add a salad, maybe a side like mashed potatoes and you got yourself a complete meal, good to take for lunch to work or a light dinner. By the way savoury cakes are quite common in Europe and a million renditions exist with added vegetables, cheese or ham and other meat.


  1. 1 ½ cup Pumpkin Pureé - made with about 1/4th large size Pumpkin, de-seeded and cooked in the pressure cooker first, then added to a blender to make a smooth Pureé

  2. 1 cup all purpose flour (you can also use gluten free flours like Amaranth flour etc., though I have not done a taste test for the same)

  3. ½ cup Ghee

  4. 2 tsps garam masala (I only use home-made, all the individual spices  in my pantry are sourced from different places like Kerala etc. often not far from where they are grown. I can assure you that super market store bought brands & ready made mixes do not taste the same. I would urge you to take individual spices like cardamom, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg etc. , dry roast them lightly and ground it to make a powder that you can store for ages)

  5. 2 Eggs

  6. 60 ml Spiced rum (this is optional but it will elevate the dish to a different level so strongly recommended). I used Captain Morgan rum, its woody, spicy and a winter staple in our household. You can use good ‘ol Old Monk rum if that is what you have lying at home

  7. 2 Tsps Ginger powder (I used a ready-made version)

  8. 1 Tsp baking powder

  9. 1-2 Tsps of salt depending on your taste

Equipments used

  1. Bundt cake pan for a beautiful shape (I used a 13 cms one, you can get your at Amazon here). If you do not have it, you can use a loaf tin

  2. Metal Whisk. I bought mine from Amazon here

  3. Strong blender (I use an original ‘Nutribullet’)

  4. Spatula

  5. Measuring spoons (you can use buy yours here)


1.Pre-Heat your oven to 180 C for 20 minutes  . Grease the Bundt cake pan with plain oil or butter , add some flour to the bottom to prevent sticking and set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, garam masala and salt and set aside. In another larger bowl, mix eggs, sugar, pumpkin pureé, ghee and rum. Fold flour mixture into egg mixture and mix well. Pour in to the bundt pan

3. Bake for 30-35 minutes at 165-170 C, until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before serving.

Lébu Tip: You can make a meal out of this. With a piece of cake, some mashed potatoes and a salad.


2.Pumpkin Pureé + Turmeric sauce Spaghetti

Yields: 1-2

Category: Weeknight Meal, Simple Dinner Parties, Lébu collections


  1. 1 Cup Pumpkin Pureé

  2. ½ an onion chopped

  3. 6-8 garlic cloves crushed

  4. 2 egg yolks

  5. 1 tsp turmeric

  6. Salt & pepper to taste

  7. 1 tsps chilli powder

  8. 2 tbps Coconut milk

  9. 7-8 mint leaves

  10. 1 cup vegetable broth (you can save peels from vegetables and boil them down with water, you can store this in your fridge too add to various dishes to get tons of flavour. Alternatively, you can use a stock cube like Maggi’s)

  11. Salt & pepper to taste


1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook pasta according to directions but drain two minutes early, reserving ½ cup of water.

2. Meanwhile mix the egg yolks with coconut milk in a separate bowl

3. Take the Pumpkin Pureé and add it to a blender, along with the mint leaves , add the egg yolks + coconut milk mixture and blend

4. Meanwhile in a skillet, sauté onions & garlic with oil over medium heat for 3 minutes or until they are browned. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in turmeric and vegetable broth and simmer for 3 minutes.

5. Add pasta to this vegetable mixture and some more cooking liquid over high heat (add the pasta water reserved earlier)

6. You can top with pumpkin seeds before serving

Let me know in comments , if you make this dish. Did you improvise it?

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