Livestrong: Pumpkin Risotto with Shrimps

Pumpkin Risotto with Shrimps (01) by MeetaK

If all goes well you'll be reading this when I'll be at work and this post has published itself. See I am trying out the new feature scheduled posts from Blogger in draft.

Yes, my new job - I had my first day yesterday and it was pretty good. What I love the most is that I have real live colleagues with whom I can discuss issues, chat with and brainstorm in person. I really missed that working from home. The new job promises to be exciting and offers a nice diversity in tasks, which I personally like in a job. The best thing is that I was able to buy myself a new wardrobe and get to wear chic clothes instead of the comfy jeans and sweatshirt I used to wear when I was working from home. LOL!

Last year when I entered my sauce hollandaise for Barbara's wonderful event LiveSTRONG, I had mentioned in my post that I knew no one who was effected with cancer. That changed shortly after. My neighbor, a dear and wonderful lady, told me that she is a cancer survivor. She said she had beaten it, it took away one of her breasts, but she overcame it.

I wish the story ended there, like an happily ever after, but it goes on. A little while later she was informed that things were not looking good in her blood tests. Apparently after five years of it being dormant, the cancer came back, more aggressively than before. Somehow it had managed to find a way to her bones and eaten away on them. How this was not detected earlier still leaves me flabbergasted. 

In the process of all this, she lost her job, her husband of over 13 years told her he was leaving her for someone else and finally when she decided to leave Weimar to go back to her hometown, where her parents were, her kids decided to stay on here with the father. It often seems when one is knee high in shit, one only finds a toothpick to dig themselves out of it. I felt so helpless - all I was able to do was be there to talk to her and try to raise her spirits.

Today, she is fighting the cancer with chemotherapy, she has been told that she will eventually die from it but the chemo will help her to prolong her life. She is a tough cookie. She has found love in the form of a new partner and when she came to visit me a little while back, I have to say she looked great. She still has that positive spirit and even after all that has happened to her in the short span of one year, she is looking into the future. No matter what she is determined to make it the best part of her life.

Go MP - you show em! This one's for you.

Printable version of recipe here.

Pumpkin Risotto with Shrimps (04) by MeetaK

500g Hokkaido pumpkin, cut into small cubes
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
400g Aroborio rice
1/8 l dry white wine
1 1/8 l vegetable stock
Fresh rosemary, chopped
200g shrimps, peeled
Salt and pepper
2 teaspoons lemon juice


Pumpkin Risotto with Shrimps (02) by MeetaK

In a small pan, dry roast the coriander seeds until they are fragrant. Using a mortar and pestle grind into a powder. 

In a heavy pot, heat 1 tablespoon of butter and oil each. Add the onions, garlic, coriander powder, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin. Sauté for a few minutes, then stir in the rice. Sauté for another few minutes, until the rice turns transparent.

Pour in the wine and allow to soak into the rice. One the liquid has evaporated start adding the stock in ladles, each time waiting till the liquid has been soaked in. Stir frequently during this process to "massage" the starch out of the rice. The rice should be ready in about 15-20 minutes. It should be soft but still have a good bite to it. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

In a non-stick pan, heat the remaining olive oil. Sauté the shrimps till they turn to their bright orange color and sprinkle with rosemary. Drizzle with lemon juice. Salt and pepper to taste.

Incorporate the remaining butter into the risotto. Serve in pre-warmed deep dishes with the shrimps.

Helpful risotto reads:
About risotto
Basic risotto


Many of you know my affinity towards risotto. I love the creamy texture and the full bodied taste a risotto offers. This one is particularly special because it makes use of one common ingredient and one sophisticated ingredient - the pumpkin and shrimps - making this risotto a pure indulgence. It offers wonderful flavors of the sweet pumpkin and the firm shrimp infused with the delicate hint of coriander. The added plus are the crunchy pumpkin seeds.

This is for my support towards LiveSTRONG A Taste of Yellow.

Other risotto creations you might enjoy:

Risotto with creamy mushrooms
Risotto with creamy red bell pepper
Risotto with rucola and bresaola

All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. I felt so sad reading about your negbour. Having cancer , then husband leaving her etc.........
    I also feel happy that she has found someone else she can love after all she hasgone through

  2. wow! what a heartbreaking story! I'm glad she is overing coming it all. I made something similar with butternut squash- must add pumpkin to my list! thanks!

  3. I'm very sorry to hear about your friend, and its good that she has good people in her life like you to make up for the not-so-good people.

    And congrats on the new job--glad to hear its going well so far. Also, glad that the scheduled posts thing works for you--it something I couldn't live without!

    And finally, of course, the food! The risotto, as always, looks fantastic and I really like the flavors that you worked together.

  4. Your friend is an inspiration! And she is lucky to have you as a good friend to talk to -- sometimes that doesn't seem like much, but it is the most important thing you can do. Looking forward to hearing more good things about your new job, too.

  5. oooh, love the colors of that dish!!

    I'm glad to hear that your first day at your new job went well; but I'm quite sorry about your friend - I wish her well!

  6. Your friend is truly an inspiration for the rest of us. I am sure she's very grateful to have great souls like you surrounding her with love and encouragement in this difficult time.

    Risotto looks delicious and best of luck with the new job! :)

  7. Wow! Great risotto! Fantastic entry to Live Strong!

  8. hi meeta thats a real touching story!!!i am very happy she has a partner now...gr8 entry..

  9. Oh Meeta what a sad story. Sometimes cancer brings out the worst in people, but mostly it brings out the best. I'm so lucky in that I have seen a side to my husband and children with their unwavering support that without the cancer I would not have known. I am so proud of all of them in how they have handled our situation.

    Thank you for supporting LiveSTRONG With A Taste Of Yellow. Your neighbour is blessed to have your friendship.

  10. Your pior neighbour, the same thing happened to my aunt but by the time it was detected it was too late as she had no symptoms for so long. ~I really hope MP has many long and happy days ahead of her!!!

    This as usual looks divine and another one for my delicious!

  11. A lovely tribute to your neighbor. As someone who has had many a close person go through it I know how helpless you can feel.
    The risotto looks so very comforting and tasty.

  12. This is a fantastic entry for a Taste of Yellow! And a great tribute to your friend and neighbor...she is blessed to have a friend like you in this hard times. She sounds like such a positive person!

  13. Through this post, we see, hear and read how fragile life can be. What a difference a year makes, heck what a difference a day or week makes. And it not just people who are battling illnesses but those living in war-torn nations. Some of us really have to count our blessings.

    Glad to hear that you are settling well at work. Yeah, going out to buy chic clothes, poor thing, what a task. Not! (lol)

  14. It is so sad to hear about your neighbor. You won't believe it but I lost one of very close family friends today due to breast cancer. It was so shocking to hear the news, she was so young...hope someone some where finds a cure for this deadly disease.

    Like the risotto recipe, your photos are stunning as usual.

  15. What a great tribute to your neighbor! The risotto looks absolutely fantastic!! Good luck with the new job!

  16. Oh dear- well a nice thought to your neighbor. Too many cancers are out there all over the place.

    Your risotto looks great. I've been wondering about how to do the scheduled publish thing on blogger so I've bookmarked that page link- thanks!

  17. I guess ur neighbour's spouse didn't really understand when he took the vows..for thick or thin..How can u abandon someone when they need u the most?

  18. meeta, ur post doesn't appear on TOI:( i missed so many of them. guess i need to go back to my blogrolls.

  19. Your neighbor is a winner, Meeta. A fighter. I admire her and I'm sending positive thoughts her way. Thank you for sharing her story with us.

  20. Aww your friend is so lucky to have you :)

    I've made butternut squash risotto before, but never with pumpkin...and pumpkin is pretty much my fave food in the world so I'll have to try this!


  21. What a gorgeous dish and a touching story that you've shared, Meeta. We all hope that as time passes, treatments will improve and that the number of people who survive will increase. As with cancer, as with life, we have to be there for the people we love and never forget that each day counts. I have no doubt that your beautiful smile and genuine friendship means a lot to your friend. xxoo

  22. A very heart tugging story Meeta and a delicious risotto recipe to go along with it for a worthy cause:D It seems that we are all touched by someone who is fighting the struggle.Live strong:D

  23. First of all Congratulations on your new job!! Im glad that you like the environment and yes the best of all is the clothes part ( spoken like a true gemini :D) Hats off to your friend ,Its amazing that she still is positive , I was a caregiver for a coupla DAYS to someone close and saw their confidence dwindling!! All the best to your friend!! The risotto looks yummy, but Im a vegetarian !

  24. I really appreciate all your sentiments and comforting thoughts. I am sure MP will make it through this time. It's nice to see there is so much support for this kind of tragedy. Hugs to you all!

  25. Congratulations on the new job. (Funny you're getting a job and I'm wanting to get rid of my job!)

    The risotto is gorgeous; love the yellow background in the photos. What a touching story about your friend. She sounds like a very inspiring person.

  26. Hi Meeta, I have seen cancer taking away a good friend's mother at college, and I know how it affects, not only the person but each member of the family! My friend's mom was lucky, I see now!! They were all there for her through her fight. Maybe your frnd. is better off now - because she has found someone who loves her for her true self!! Thats a great dish and you are a wonderful sorceress when it comes to cooking and snapping! I love coming here everytime!! If you can do visit my blog and comment on the photos - I would like to improve on mine:)

  27. Your neighbor knows and lives the way we all should - make the most of this day. I try but it's easy to get too caught by yesterday or a distant tomorrow sometimes.
    I really love everything about this risotto - maybe especially the color that somehow seems to scream healthy to me!
    Beautiful here Meeta. Hope the new job works well for you and your family!!

  28. Meeta, I will put your friend in my prayers. It's sad to see what some people have to go through in life.

    I love your risotto ... just beautiful! Well done.

  29. Thanks to everyone for their feedback and thoughts. Glad you are liking this recipe!

  30. Good Meeta I know what we are having for dinner tonight... I have all those ingredients on hand.
    Sorry to hear about your neighbour glad there is some happiness now in her life.
    Life's not fair you know but I guess she is making the best of it.
    All power to her.

  31. Meeta, I loved this risotto (dinner last night, lunch today!). I don't believe you ever make mistakes in the kitchen. Many thanks for the recipe-- the toasted coriander and pumpkin combination is fabulous.

  32. thanks to you for all your comments.

    Eeshani - so glad you liked this risotto!

  33. I hope I'll be enjoying it. My hubby calls it one of his all-time favourite dinners. And it's so easy - always a winner.


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