Nana Joan's Thanda Masala

My mother-in-law is widely acknowledged as the possibly the most disinterested cook in the family, however, there are a couple of dishes that she does very well, one of these is pumpkin vegetable side dish. You all know "Garam" Masala, well this is sort of joke - this is a "cool" masala, unlike the "hot" masala. Don't ask me, I didn't make up the name, but I do make the dish occasionally. Now that her memory is not what it used to be, this is one the dishes that she enjoys and recognises.

You need:

1.2 kg firm pumpkin, peeled and diced into even sized chunks about 2.5 cm square - no need to get out the ruler, but that's a measure.
1 lime, juiced and strained to get rid of the pips.
1/2 teaspoon garam masala (yes! despite the name, it features here!)
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg powder, grated from a full nutmeg. Oh, never mind, you can use powder if you like.
1 onion
1/2 cup worth of green coriander
A few mint leaves
2 tablespoons groundnut or olive oil

  1. Boil the pumpkin lightly till barely cooked, in the least amount of water you possibly can.  There should be very little water left at the end - drain it off and leave the pumplin to cool slightly. Or you can give it a short blast in the microwave with a tiny amount of water. Use sensor cooking if available.
  2. Chop onions finely and fry in oil till golden brown.
  3. Chop coriander and mint finely. Set aside about a spoonful of the greens for garnish.
  4. When onions are golden brown, toss in the pumpkin and stir lightly, taking care not to mash the golden dice.
  5. Sprinkle in the nutmeg and garam masala. Stir to combine.
  6. Add the main part of the green coriander and mint. Stir to combine.
  7. Add the salt and the lime juice.
  8. Remove from fire and add the garnish before serving.
Fortunately, you can cover this and leave it aside while you get the rest of the meal ready, Indian food is quite happy to wait. I have no idea how Chinese and French and other cooks manage with the Serve Immediately rule so prevalent in those cuisines - how many dishes can you cook and serve immediately!!