Indian Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

Indian Spiced Pumpkin Seeds

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seeds from a good-sized pumpkin, rinsed free of pumpkin guts (~1 cup)
1 hefty tablespoon high-heat oil (coconut is especially nice)
3-6 dried red chilies (depending upon your taste for heat)
3/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon fennel seeds
15 curry leaves (available at Indian grocery stores — I buy em up, and keep them in the freezer)
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
hefty pinch asafoetida (or a clove of finely minced garlic)
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt


Place the pumpkin seeds in a pot of water, and salt generously. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat until it's just high enough to maintain a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.

While the seeds are simmering, preheat your oven to 400° Fahrenheit, and gather your spices — place the chilies, mustard seeds, and fennel seeds in one small dish, the curry leaves, turmeric, and asafoetida in another, and the coriander, cumin and salt in a third. Then you're ready!

When the seeds have finished simmering, pour them out into a colander to drain. Heat an oven-proof skillet over a medium-high heat. When hot, add the oil, and the first dish with the chilies, mustard seeds and fennel seeds. Cook until the mustard seeds sputter and pop — this should just take a minute or two, and you will need a lid at the read to keep them from popping right out of the pan!

After the seeds have popped, dump in your second dish, with the curry leaves, turmeric, and asafoetida (or garlic). Stir to let the spices all hit the hot oil and toast, then dump in the pumpkin seeds. Stir to coat the pumpkin seeds with the spice mixture. Cook for 1-2 more minutes, then dump in the remaining spice dish (coriander, cumin and salt). Turn off the heat, and transfer the skillet to the oven (if you don't have an oven-proof skillet, you can just pour them out onto a rimmed cookie sheet instead).

Roast, stirring occasionally, until the seeds are crisp and lightly browned, ~10—20 minutes (depending upon your skillet, seeds, personal taste, etc). Let cool, then pour into a dish and serve.