Syrians tend to prefer their pumpkin pancakes spicy, while Sephardim from Turkey and Greece generally favor them slightly sweet. In either case, these colorful pancakes are both traditional for Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, and Chanukah as well as make a tasty side dish for any meal, the many seeds a symbol of fruitfulness and abundance.
Check out our complete collection of Rosh Hashanah recipes for mains, sides, soups, desserts, and more inspiration for the holiday.
Soak the bulgur in warm water for 20 minutes.
Transfer the bulgur to a food processor with the remaining ingredients except the oil and puree. If the mixture is too thin, add a little more flour.
Shape into patties about two inches long, one inch wide, and half an inch thick.
Heat an eighth inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties, turning once, until golden brown on both sides, about two minutes per side. Serve warm or at room temperature.
To cook fresh pumpkin, cut it into eighths, place in a large pot of lightly salted water, cover, and simmer over low heat until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cut off the peel, and mash. Gently press in a strainer to remove the excess liquid.
Sephardic Pumpkin Patties (Fritadas de Calabaza): This batter will be looser than the bulgur version, and is dropped from a spoon. Omit the bulgur, 1/2 cup water, onion, and seasoning. Add 3 large eggs and 2–8 tablespoons granulated or brown sugar. If desired, also add 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, and a pinch of ground ginger.
Syrian Baked Pumpkin Casserole (Kibbet Yatkeen bi Seniyeh): Spread the pumpkin mixture into an oiled nine-inch square baking pan. Cut into diamonds or one- and- a- half-inch squares. Drizzle with 1/4 cup vegetable oil. Bake in a 400-degree oven until golden brown.