Bimuelos de Kalavasa (Sephardic Pumpkin Patties)
Pumpkin is a favorite ingredient in Sephardic cooking, found in cakes, soups, stews, puddings, jams and pancakes. Sephardic Jews include the fall fruit in dishes for Rosh Hashanah and Sukkot. At Chanukah, Syrian Jews are fond of savory pumpkin patties (kibbet yatkeen) while Sephardim from Turkey and Greece make deep-fried pumpkin fritters or sweet pancakes, both called bimuelos de kalavasa. This recipe adds the Syrian flavors of allspice and coriander to the cinnamon and sweeter taste of the Turkish and Greek pancakes. You can adjust the sugar to make it more or less sweet. Note: Be sure to use plain pumpkin, not pre-seasoned pie filling.
- 1 cup flour
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin (about 1¾ cup)
- Good vegetable oil for frying
- For serving: honey, silan (date syrup) or powdered sugar
- In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar and spices. In a separate large bowl, mix the eggs and pumpkin. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix well until smooth. Heat about ¼ inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat. The oil is ready when a drop of water spatters in it.
- Add the batter to the hot oil by very full tablespoon. With the back of the spoon, slightly flatten and spread each patty into a circle as you add it. Cook about 3 minutes per side, flipping only once, until each patty is a deep golden brown. The patties will be crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Drain well on paper towel.
- Best when served immediately, drizzled with warm honey or date syrup (available at Middle Eastern and some kosher markets) or sprinkled with powdered sugar. Cooked patties can be kept warm in a 200-degree oven for up to 30 minutes on top of wire cooling racks placed on a baking pan.