October: Pumpkin Month?

october-month-cat-pumpkin

Ah it’s the last day of October …..

Since I started my blog in 2009,  I always post something in October because my blog was born on 1st October and I was born on 31st October…….

This year I did not post anything on 1st of October

So I guess I have to write something today …..

Well it’s October…which can only mean one thing – Pumpkin is taking the seat of Ingredient of the Month

pumpkin

Let’s start by asking question: is a pumpkin a fruit or vegetable?

The pumpkin is a member of the squash family, and, though it is treated like a vegetable, it is technically a fruit. The reason a pumpkin is a fruit is because it grows on a vine and contains seeds.

Experiencing the diverse tastes of fruit and vegetables everyday, knowing which is which might be taken for granted. However, there is much confusion about these terms. Furthermore, many true fruits are often regarded to be vegetables and vice versa.

So, what is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?

The meaning of the words fruit and vegetables are largely based on culinary and cultural tradition.

In grocery-store language the words “fruit” and “vegetable” are mutually exclusive – plant products that are fruit are hardly classified as vegetables.

Fruit normally means the fleshy, sweet seed-associated structures of a plant, while a vegetable usually means the edible plant or part of a plant other than a fruit or seed.

fruit or vegetables

Pumpkins are the most famous of all the winter squashes, and are most associated with Halloween lanterns.

Inside the hard orange or yellow skin, the bright orange flesh is sweet and honied. They are a particularly good source of fibre, as well as a range of vitamins and minerals.

Let’s cook pumpkin

slice-of-pumpkin

Cut into chunks and bake or roast (30-40 minutes) or boil (15-20 minutes). Use to make soups, add to stews or mash as a side dish.

Let’s cook pumpkin the Indonesian way…..making Kolak Pumpkin

Kolak is an authentic Indonesian sweet snack with the basic ingredients of palm/brown sugar (gula jawa), coconut milk and pandan leaf.

Kolak is rather heavy and is usually eaten at mid-day as snack. It’s not something you’d eat after a big dinner, but you might like it after a light meal

Kolak isn’t a dessert as Indonesians don’t eat desserts as Westerners know them. Sweet stuff is snack food as there’s no big distinction between breakfast or lunch or dinner food. However, there’s a big distinction between regular meal food and snack food. 

I don’t have many recipes which use pumpkin as the main ingredient.  One typical Indonesian dish I have known since my childhood is Kolak Pumpkin.

My mom used to cook Kolak Pumpkin on my birthday as a sweet treat for me and my birthday happened to be on Halloween day (note: although we don’t celebrate Halloween here). Here’s I re-post my recipe of Kolak Pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 250 gram pumpkin meat, cut in cubes
  • 500 ml water
  • 100 gram palm sugar, shaved
  • 200 ml thick coconut milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 pandan leaf, tied into a knot

Method

  • Put  water in a saucepan, bring to a boil
  • Slow cook the pumpkin cubes in the water on low heat until tender but still in the form of cubes.
  • Add the coconut milk
  • Add the salt
  • Simmer uncovered until the liquid thickened
  • Remove from heat

Serve warm or chilled.

kolak-labuHAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYBODY

AND HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME

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