I grow my own West Indian Pumpkin in the Midwest during the summer months. The pumpkins are then cooked, puréed, packaged and stored in the freezer for future use. I am, therefore, able to make these sweet and creamy pumpkin fritters throughout the year. They are considered the ultimate fall treat in our culture. Today we prepare many dishes with West Indian Pumpkin like our flavorful pumpkin custard (flan) or savory comfort pumpkin soup. The Spanish name for this recipe is Barrigas de Vieja – which means old ladies’ belly. When the pumpkin fritters are fried, wrinkles appear on the surface of the dough similar to the bellies of the elderly women. I am pretty sure many elderly men have just as much wrinkles on their bellies. LOL!
The Caribbean West Indian Pumpkins are sold whole or in wedges at the Latin Markets. However, you can use butternut squash for this recipe if you are unable to purchase the West Indian Pumpkin.
The Taíno Indians cultivated the pumpkins in Puerto Rico. 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. The flesh of the West Indian Pumpkin is firm and bright orange with a sweet flavor similar to butternut squash.
You will need 2 cups of puréed pumpkin. Click on the link to learn How to Prepare and Package West Indian Pumpkin.
Let’s Start Mixing the Ingredients!
Add the flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar in a bowl. Mix all the dry ingredients until well blended.
We will add the vanilla extract.
We are now ready to add the main ingredient – puréed pumpkin.
With a spoon, stir all the ingredients until well blended. Once a batter is formed, we can start frying the pumpkin batter.
It’s Time to Fry the Pumpkin Batter!
In a large skillet, heat 1 cup of oil to 365°F. Carefully add pumpkin mixture by tablespoonfuls into the skillet.
Fry until golden brown on one side for approximately 3 minutes.
With a spatula, carefully turn the pumpkin fritters to the other side and continue frying until golden brown – approximately 2 minutes.
Remove from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Serve warm and enjoy these delicious pumpkin fritters.
Click on the button below to watch my YouTube video on How to Make Pumpkin Fritters!
Recipe and Nutritional Facts
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These sweet and creamy pumpkin fritters are the ultimate fall treat in our culture.
- 2 cups puréed West Indian Pumpkin
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt (low sodium)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup canola oil for frying
- In a large bowl, mix flour, salt, cinnamon and brown sugar until well blended.
- Add the vanilla extract and puréed pumpkin.
- Stir all the ingredients until a batter is formed.
- Heat oil in a 12-inch skillet to 365°F.
- Add pumpkin mixture by tablespoonfuls into skillet.
- Fry until golden brown on both sides.
- Place on a plate lined with paper towels to absorb the excess oil.
- Serve warm.
See video and food blogging post on How to Prepare and Package West Indian Pumpkin.
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.
- Category: Appetizers
- Cuisine: Puerto Rican
Keywords: Pumpkin Fritters