I don’t think I’ve roasted pumpkin seeds since I was really young. Although, it seems like a very American thing to do, I remember my grandmother when she lived with my family in New Jersey actually roasting the seeds for our family. She is and to this day meticulous about using every part of the vegetable – nothing goes to waste.
When I received this pumpkin in my farmshare, the thought struck me that I should roast the seeds instead of discarding them.
This pumpkin had a bit of character. When I cut it open, I felt like it was scowling back at me;)
Inspired by chili roasted peanuts I like to buy in India, I decided to mix the seeds up with ghee and a few different spices – my Great Aunt’s garam masala (you can buy the powder ready-made as well), turmeric and chili powder and then bake them.
1 cup pumpkin seeds
2 tablespoons ghee or melted butter
1/2 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
salt to taste
squeeze of lemon (optional)
Take seeds out of pumpkin and remove as much pulp as possible.
Wash the seeds in a colander to remove more access pulp and then lay them out on a paper towel to dry.
You can make them same day by just letting them dry for about 30 minutes and patting them dry. You can also put them in the oven under a low setting, 200 degrees fahrenheit to dry them out completely, but make sure they don’t start roasting. I prefer storing them overnight so that they completely dry on their own.
Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.
In a bowl, mix the seeds well with ghee, garam masala, chili powder, turmeric and salt.
Lay the seeds on a cookie sheet and place in the oven at 300 degrees fahrenheit. Occasionally turn the seeds over so that they are evenly roasted. Keep an eye on them and if they start to pop, just lower the heat a bit. Roast for about 30 minutes or until they are browned to your preference. Pumpkin seeds come in different sizes and thickness so cooking times will vary.
Lay them out to cool completely. They will get crunchier as they sit out and add more salt to taste or even a squeeze of lemon. If you find that your seeds are a bit chewy after cooling, that means that they still have moisture in them and you should continue to roast them.
Eat the roasted seeds as a snack or sprinkle on salads, soups, yogurt, tacos!