These sweet and creamy pumpkin fritters (Tortitas de Calabaza) are prepared with West Indian Pumpkin (Caribbean Pumpkin). In Puerto Rico, they are also called Barriguitas de Vieja – which means old ladies bellies.
The Taíno Indians cultivated the West Indian Pumpkins in Puerto Rico. However, they would be in shock to learn that I cultivate the West Indian Pumpkins in the Midwest. The Spanish term for the Caribbean Pumpkin is “Calabaza.”
The West Indian Pumpkins are sold whole or in wedges at the Latin Markets. You can also use butternut squash for this recipe if you are unable to purchase the West Indian Pumpkin.
Description of West Indian Pumpkin!
This is a West Indian Pumpkin. The West Indian Pumpkin is a round or oblong squash that is popular in the Caribbean, Central and South America. The color of the skin can vary and can include green, orange and tan hues and the size may be small or large.
This is a West Indian Pumpkin wedge. The flesh is firm and bright orange with a sweet flavor similar to butternut squash.
Let’s Cut and Peel West Indian Pumpkin Wedges!
Remove the strings and seeds with a knife or spoon.
Insert a knife between the skin and flesh and peel the pumpkin wedge.
Cut 4 to 5 pumpkin wedges in halves.
We Are Ready to Steam and Mash the West Indian Pumpkin Wedges!
Fill the bottom of the saucepan with sufficient water and insert steamer basket. Place the pumpkin wedges into steamer basket. Cover with lid and steam for 30 minutes or until fork tender.
After 30 minutes of steaming, check the pumpkin wedges for tenderness with a fork.
Place the steamed pumpkin wedges into a bowl.
Mash the pumpkin wedges with a potato masher. Continue this process for the remaining pumpkin wedges.
The mashed pumpkin wedges should be creamy with a bright orange color.
You will need 2 cups of mashed pumpkin. Click on the link to learn How to Prepare and Package West Indian Pumpkin.
Let’s Start Mixing the Ingredients!
Add ½ cup of all purpose flour, 2 tablespoons brown sugar, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ½ teaspoon lite salt into a bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients until well blended.
Add two cups of mashed pumpkin and ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.
Stir all ingredients until a batter is form.
It’s Time to Fry the Pumpkin Batter!
In a large skillet, heat 1 cup of oil to 365°F. Carefully add pumpkin batter by tablespoonfuls into skillet.
Fry until golden brown on one side. After 4 minutes of frying, turn pumpkin fritters to the other side.
Continue frying until golden brown on both sides – approximately 2 to 3 minutes.
Remove from skillet. Place on a plate and always serve warm.
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Make Pumpkin Fritters!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts
Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. Please refer to our Nutritional Facts Disclaimer for more information.Print
These sweet and creamy pumpkin fritters are prepared with Caribbean pumpkins.
- 2 cups mashed West Indian Pumpkin
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt (low sodium)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup canola oil for frying
- Cut, peel, steam and mash 4 to 5 pumpkin wedges.
- In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar until well blended.
- Add the vanilla extract and mashed pumpkin.
- Stir all the ingredients until a batter is formed.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet to 365°F.
- Add pumpkin batter by tablespoonfuls into skillet.
- Fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Place on a plate and always serve warm.
You can add granulated sugar instead of the brown sugar if you so desire. If you are unable to purchase the West Indian Pumpkin, you can use Butternut Squash as a substitute.
If you are using canned pumpkin or frozen packaged pumpkin, the total time will be only 15 minutes.
- Category: Appetizers
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Keywords: Pumpkin Fritters