Food fix

The bright orange color of pumpkin reveals that pumpkin is loaded with an important antioxidant, beta-carotene.

Beta-carotene is one of the plant carotenoids converted to vitamin A in the body. In the conversion to vitamin A, beta carotene performs many important functions in overall health.

Current research indicates that a diet rich in foods containing beta-carotene may reduce the risk of developing certain types of cancer and offers protect against heart disease. Beta-carotene offers protection against other diseases as well as some degenerative aspects of aging. You can make these tasty dishes using pumpkin.
      
Pumpkin payasam

Ingredients: Peeled, chopped and cooked pumpkin (1 cup), sugar (1 cup),  milk (3 cup), cashew nuts (10 gms), roasted raisins (10 gms), cardamom powder (½ tsp)
Method: Grind pumpkin  with cashews and cardamom powder and prepare a smooth paste.

Add boiled milk and sugar to it and stir well for 5 min in a low flame. Garnish with raisins and serve it hot or cold.   

Pumpkin pachadi

Ingredients: Peeled and chopped ripe pumpkin (2 cups), green chillies (5 nos), turmeric powder (1 tsp), curd (1 cup), salt to taste, grated coconut (1 cup), small onion (½ cup), cumin seeds (¼ tsp), garlic (3 cloves), mustard seeds (1 tsp),
For seasoning: coconut oil, mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves
Method: Cook pumpkin with chopped green chillies, turmeric powder, salt and a enough water. Grind the coconut, small onion, cumin seeds, garlic and mustard seeds as a smooth paste. Add cooked pumpkin, curd and  season  and mix well.

Pumpkin curry

Ingredients: Chilly powder (1 tsp), coriander leaves (1 bunch), dhania powder (1 ½ tsp), garlic (1 tsp), jeera seeds (1 tsp), mustard seeds (1 tsp), oil (4 tsp), onion (2 no), salt to taste, peeled and chopped sweet pumpkin (1/2 kg), mint leaves (a few)

Method: Grind dhania powder, garlic, onion and jeera seeds into a fine paste. In a pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, add mint leaves, chilly powder, grounded masala,  pumpkin pieces, salt and cup of water. Cook well  and add  finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot with chapatis or rotis.

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