This recipe is inspired by Monesha Bharadwaj's Shakarkand kebab recipe, a North Indian sweet potato dish from the indispensable India's Vegetarian Cookery book (one of my favourite cookery books, and one of the few where I diligently follow the recipes). The original recipe had chickpea flour, paneer & ginger - all things that go really well with pumpkins! The Gram flour needs to be toasted, which is a bit of a faff, but worth it for the lovely aroma that fills the kitchen!
Paneer is an Indian cheese, often referred to as Indian cottage cheese, though it's nothing like cottage cheese. It's a firm, dry, neutral flavoured cheese. If you can't get hold of any, feta will work, but leave out the salt in the recipe, as feta is pretty saltalicious.
Makes 8 kebabs.
300g roasted pumpkin flesh, mashed with a fork
100g Gram flour (Chickpea flour)
100g Paneer, grated or crumbled
4 tbs cashew nuts
1 tbs grated ginger
a pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 220c/G6
Tip the gram flour into a small pan on a medium heat & dry roast it, stirring regularly to keep it from sticking. After 5 or 6 minutes it will smell toasty & delicious. Tip into a bowl & use the warm pan to toast the cashew nuts. When they are golden & fragrant, tip into a pestle & mortar & give them a quick bash. You don't want cashew powder, you just want to break them up a little.
Add the cashews, pumpkin, paneer, ginger, nutmeg, salt & pepper & mix together. Add the gram flour & knead until a dough is formed (it will be a bit sticky). If you have kebab sticks or skewers, divide the dough into 8 and shape around the skewers (if you're having a bit of trouble with things being sticky, try oiling your hands or adding a tablespoon of flour to the dough). If you haven't got any skewers, divide the dough into 10 & shape into little cigar shapes.
Place on a greased baking sheet & chuck in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden. Serve with wedges of lemon & a dollop of yoghurt.
Om nom nom!