What can I say about this recipe, simply East meets West.
In every sense, fusion of 3 dessert dishes from 3 continents, to make this wonderful dessert or sweet, and will be a crowd pleaser at any dinner party, celebrations, festival, any time of the year.
- From Asia, I have taken a little bit of the Indian dessert Gulab Jaman.
- From Europe, all things, Cup Cake.
- And from North America the ‘essence’ of Pumpkin Pie.
This is the result when you receive free seeds, and do not have the heart, (like me), to throw them away, because no one in the family likes that vegetable. Actually we tend not to like something because of a past experience. The new rule in our home; since starting the allotment is: grow it once, cook it once, try in once, only after this trial, you say if the vegetable is not for you.
So far all ‘new’ vegetables and fruits are a winner. Including this heritage Pumpkin called Small Sugar.
I started just 1 seed, hoping it wouldn’t do well, so I would not have to eat. Surprised me! It performed so well that I was potting on the seedling from the first week after germination. Now I really didn’t have the heart to throw it away. Once conditions were favourable outdoors in May, found a spot, on the allotment to grow it on, and away it went, needing no extra help, apart from giving it plenty of room to grow and quenching its summer thirst, like all other plants on the plot.
Even at the point of harvesting, in September, was still not sure if we, (particularly myself), would enjoy this vegetable. As the house rule goes, try it once, a home made recipe. And the winner from all the soups, pies and roasts, it was this dessert that came up as the winner. Unfortunately or fortunately, Pumpkin is now added to the long list of vegetables we do eat.
Slide the weighing scale to one side, we are using measuring cups today.
First 2 things to do (I did this the day before) make pumpkin puree, by cutting it in half, scraping the seeds and roasting it until pulp is soft, scooped and whizzed up in a food processor, allowed to cool and in the fridge overnight.
The other is to make the sugar syrup. Not necessarily has to be done the day before, I advice you do, as it intensifies the flavours of Saffron, Cardamom and Nutmeg in the syrup. Place a cup of granulated sugar with a quarter cup of water, allowing the sugar to dissolve on a low heat. Once most of water has evaporated, approximately 30 minutes later, and has the syrup like consistency, add 2 Cardamom pods worth of seed, previously ground down, grate a little nutmeg finally adding 3 strands of Saffron, stir and set aside. The heat in the syrup will cook the spice gently.
Place in a bowl, 1 cup of self raising flour with 1 teaspoon of baking powder, quarter teaspoon of salt and cinnamon powder, generous grating of nutmeg and set aside, In another mixing bowl crack an Egg with 3 tablespoons of Vegetable Oil and quarter cup of Milk. Whisk with a ballon whisk or hand mixer. To this add the pumpkin puree and continue whisking.
Sieve the spiced flour into the wet batter and gently fold, taking care not to beat the air out. Scoop into mini muffin tray, perviously oiled with a little vegetable oil. Half fill each section.
This amount of batter should make 24 mini cakes. Bake in a preheated oven of 200˙C for 15 to 20 minutes or when a skewer is inserted into the little cakes, it comes away clean.
Allow to cool in the trays and heat the syrup (if made previous day) Remove cakes, out of the tin into a large bowl and pour the syrup all over, stirring gently every 5 minutes for the next 30 to 40 minutes.
In a large plate place 5 or 6 tablespoons (approximately) of desiccated coconut and gently one by one (do not rush this part) roll the cakes in the coconut.
Pumpkin Jamun Bites are ready to eat from the minute they are coconut coated, and will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator in an air tight container.