Roasted Pumpkin, Sesame & Coconut bisque

October 15, 2011

Author Notes: I fell in love with roasted pumpkins when I set out to make pumpkin puree from scratch.. so much so, I had to consciously stop myself from polishing it off the whole lot from the baking pan armed with a teaspoon. Eventually once the craving monsters had been pacified, I settled down to think about the culinary fusion potential of this golden manna. Networking my neurons had me thinking about Bobby Flay's pumpkin soup that was served at his book signing event at Williams Sonoma, but to give this my own 'panfusine' touch, I recreated the taste of a little known pumpkin stew from Southern India, the 'thalagam'. Thalagam is made in south Indian homes for a festival honoring Lord Shiva, known as 'tiruvadhirai' celebrated in December. redolent with the aromas of toasted coconut & Sesame, the spicy stew is paired with sweetened rice grits. Flavors that most would have & probably will, never savor at any dining establishment.Panfusine

Serves: 2-3

Ingredients

Coconut sesame paste

  • 1/2 cup fresh frozen grated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon Split dehusked Urad Dal
  • 1 tablespoon split garbanzo beans (chana dal)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 1-2 dried arbol chile
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 teaspoon plain uncooked rice grains

Roasted pumpkin soup

  • 2 cups unsweetened pumpkin puree from a roasted pumpkin
  • 1/2-1 teaspoons tamarind extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1-2 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • Dollops of creme Fraiche or sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
In This Recipe

Directions

  1. To obtain the pumpkin puree, cut wedges of pumpkin removing the seeds & the central 'webbing' , brush with olive oil & bake in a 400 F oven for about 45 minutes to 1 hr. Allow to cool & scoop out the required amount (2 cups) of pumpkin.
  2. In a skillet on low heat, toast the coconut till it turns a reddish brown. Set aside.
  3. Using the same pan, dry roast all the lentils, rice & the fenugreek till they turn a light brown color, add these to the coconut & repeat the process for the sesame & arbol chiles (cut the chiles into pieces to facilitate browning). Toast the sesame till the seeds begin popping.
  4. Combine all the ingredients together and grind to a smooth paste using as little water as possible. Set aside
  5. In a crock pot, combine the pumpkin puree, tamarind extract, turmeric, salt and water and cook on medium heat till the flavors combine (~ 15 min)
  6. Add the sesame & coconut spice blend to the pumpkin mix and simmer on a low heat for about 15 minutes, adding extra water if the mix is too thick. The predominating aroma will be that of the toasted sesame.
  7. Remove from heat, allow to cool. Process in a blender till smooth & strain (the toasted dals & coconut will otherwise add a gritty component to the texture.). Simmer on low heat to maintain the level of warmth you prefer.
  8. Heat the ghee on low heat, add the curry leaves and allow to fry till they're crisp (but still retain their green color)
  9. Serve warm with a dollop of Creme Fraiche or sour cream and garnished with the crisp curry leaves.

More Great Recipes:
Soup|Indian|Pumpkin|Sesame|Sour Cream|Tamarind|Vegetable|Coconut|Make Ahead|Fry|Fall|Thanksgiving

Reviews (9) Questions (2)

9 Reviews

Heather September 29, 2014
Just made this; it is delicious and wonderfully complex. I like the way the sweets and sours complement each other and it has a comforting warmth. The sesame seeds were fantastic in this. I used coconut manna (basically what I call coconut in a jar--the kind you need to warm up to spoon out) instead of fresh frozen. It is great with naan. Thank you for a super fall recipe.
 
Author Comment
Panfusine September 29, 2014
Thanks so much for the lovely validation and the info about coconut Manna.. I've seen it in stores but never used it yet.. It sounds like an awesome Pantry ingredient to have on hand.<br />
 
susan G. October 18, 2011
Finally it's coming together! Not only are all the ingredients on the page, I just found the arbol chilis today. How hot are they really? Assuming I enjoy mid range heat and like to taste all the flavors... <br />
 
Author Comment
Panfusine October 18, 2011
Yep... its frustrating knowing that you have an incomplete recipe out there & can't do much about it!.. 2 arbol chiles will give you a mid range heat.. the roasted pumpkin being sweet & the nutty oils from the sesame & coconut tend to balance out the heat well.
 
Author Comment
Panfusine October 17, 2011
just went in and edited the recipe with the required ingredients & steps..
 
susan G. October 15, 2011
I think we can go ahead and save it, and the corrections will be there when they're made. Just so tempting!
 
Author Comment
Panfusine October 15, 2011
There was an extra step between steps 4 & 5, its disappeared!..(add the coconut sesame paste to the pumpkin puree and simmer for about 15 minutes and... about the aroma of sesame makings its presence felt). I guess since its the weekend, no one from food52 is on hand to respond.. :-(
 
Author Comment
Panfusine October 15, 2011
There was an extra step between steps 4 & 5, its disappeared!..(add the coconut sesame paste to the pumpkin puree and simmer for about 15 minutes and... about the aroma of sesame makings its presence felt). I guess since its the weekend, no one from food52 is on hand to respond.. :-(
 
Author Comment
Panfusine October 15, 2011
Thanks sdebrango. I do hope they'll fix the recipe page soon, the recipe is missing fenugreek (1/2 tsp) & 2 arbol chiles that I had included...