Cooking pumpkin vine

Pumpkin is considered as one of the highly nutritious vegetables rich in vitamin and good for eyes. The pumpkin is cooked when it is ripe or even when it is green and yet to ripe. The ripe pumpkins are called farsi and the yet-to-ripe pumpkins are called farsiko gatta or simply gatta in Nepali. Not only the pumpkin but also the pumpkin flower and its vine are edible. And pumpkin vines (farsiko munta) are one of the most popular and desired green vegetables cooked in Nepali kitchen. These vines are cooked during the season and especially during the fast, it is the most common green vegetable to be cooked. This is how a pumpkin vine vegetable is prepared:


Ingredients:

1 lb washed, peeled and cut into 1 inch pieces pumpkin vine tips

3 dried red chilies

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp whole timur

1 tbsp minced garlic

1 tbsp minced ginger

1 tsp cumin powder

½ tsp turmeric (optional)

½ tsp freshly ground pepper

3 tbsp clarified butter

Salt to taste

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

pumpkin vine

Photo credit: Jyoti Pathak


Procedure:

First of all, take a non-stick cooking pan and heat three tablespoon of clarified butter (ghee). Then, splitter fenugreek seeds, whole timur, mustard seeds and cumin seeds until they turn dark. Add dried red chilies and fry for about fifteen seconds until it turns dark. Now, add garlic, ginger, ground pepper, cumin and turmeric and fry it all on low heat for a minute or so. Then, add the pumpkin vine tips to the spice mixture and stir-fry it for about two minutes and then season it with salt. Now, add broth and let it simmer until the vine tips turn tender and the excess liquid evaporates. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and then serve it with rice or roti.

Another way is to dry-fry the pumpkin vine tips until it turns tender and let the liquid that it oozes disappear without adding any amount of broth.