Fresh pumpkin mashed with freshly grated coconut and a dash of mustard oil, seasoned with sliced green chillies and salt will make many a true blue Bengali skip a heart beat. Atleast it's known to have that effect on my mother. But I prefer the vegetable in all its sweet glory and thehigh spice index of the above concotion just does not work for me. Pumpkin simply stirfried with panch phoron and dry red chillies till it becomes all squishy, served with warm puris or fresh chapptais and roti - now we are talking. I have not been very succesful in recreating this dish on these shores as the quality of pumpkin is always suspect (notwithstanding the ready availablity). On the other hand stir frying it with okra, onions and panch phoron has always yielded exciting results. The stringy part of the pumpkin which has the seeds when mixed into bhajia batter is known to make really good fritters...but I am yet to perfect my frying skills, so that will have to wait for another day. But todays' post is about the seeds.
Ah, the lovely seeds which after roasting make a really good treat. So instead of discarding those seeds next time around, just toss them with a little salt and red chilli powder and roast them on a pan. When they are lightish brown in color (by this time some should have started exploding), sprinkle some lemon juice, deftly swirl the pan a couple of times to dry out the juices and voila - your roasted pumpkin seeds are ready for eating as is or for garnishing salads.