Anjan Mitra, executive chef and owner of Dosa, with two popular San Francisco locations, is a fan of the pumpkin. “Pumpkins are one of the most celebrated vegetables in this country,” says the Mumbai-born restaurateur. “They mark the beginning of fall and the start of the holiday season. In Northern California, where you can pretty much get any produce you want year-round, pumpkins are a truly seasonal vegetable being relegated to October, which makes them extremely special.”

Dosa’s dishes represent the traditional styles of Southern Indian cooking and spices inspired by recipes from families of the restaurants’ team of chefs. The menu features plenty of vegetarian options, vegan choices, and happily accommodates various dietary requests such as gluten, egg or nut-free. Fish and meat plates focus on the abundantly diverse culinary heritage of Southern India. Named for the famous fermented crepe made from rice batter and black lentils, Dosa kitchens pride themselves on serving dishes made chiefly with organic, bio-dynamic, free-range and sustainable ingredients.

“The reasons why we love using pumpkin so much at Dosa are because of the color and how well they lend themselves to Indian spices. The lassi, a yogurt drink served at the end of the meal for a cool down after the bold heat of South Indian cuisine is the perfect place to use pumpkin and cardamom,” says Mitra.

Anjan Mitra, Executive Chef/Owner, Dosa Restaurants, San Francisco

Anjan Mitra
Executive Chef/Owner
Dosa on Fillmore
1700 Fillmore St.
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 441-3672
Dosa on Valencia
995 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 642-3672

Mitra suggests “The pumpkin poriyal could be used as a vegetable accompaniment to a dinner; at Dosa we serve the poriyal and a pumpkin chutney together in a Dosa. Again, it’s the texture that makes pumpkin a great poriyal vegetable, only in this case the pumpkin is diced and sauteed, so it has a creaminess while retaining some bite.”

Pumpkin Lassi

A pumpkin lassi is a traditional Indian yogurt-based drink, both sweet and deeply refreshing. Though they can be made with mangos, cherries or a variety of other fruits, pumpkin is the perfect option for the spirit of fall.


  • 8 pounds yogurt
  • 3/4 pounds sugar
  • 0.5 ounces cardamom powder
  • 3.1 pounds pumpkin puree

Blend and combine all ingredients.

Pumpkin Poriyal 

  • 2 ounces rice bran oil
  • 24 ounces julienne shallots
  • 3.5 pounds medium dice pumpkin
  • 1 ounce salt
  • 0.15 ounces of sliced jalapeño peppers (remove the stem, but leave the seeds)
  • 1.1 ounces grated fresh ginger
  • 0.2 ounces fresh curry leaves
  • 0.05 ounces dried red chiles whole
  • 0.45 ounces mustard seeds
  • 0.15 ounces turmeric powder
  • 1.1 ounces coconut powder
  • 2.2 ounces water
  • 6 ounces jaggery
  • 0.1 ounce cilantro leaves chopped


  • 1. On medium heat saute shallots and pumpkin in oil with salt
  • 2. Once shallots are medium soft add jalepenos, ginger, curry leaves, red chile, mustard seeds, turmeric powder and coconut
  • 3. Stir to combine
  • 4. Add water and jaggery
  • 5. Reduce on low flame until water has evaporated (pumpkin should be cooked through but not mushy, if pumpkin is not cooked through add another ounce of water)
  • 6. Turn flame off and add cilantro
Laurie Jo Miller Farr loves walkable cities. A tourism industry professional and transplanted New Yorker by way of half-a-lifetime in London, she’s writing about the best of the bay and beyond for Bay City Guide, AXS, Examiner and more.