West Indian Pumpkin Fritters (Frituras de Calabaza)

West Indian Pumpkin Fritters (Frituras de Calabaza)

The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 mins
Total: 25 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Yield: 24 fritters
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
334 Calories
18g Fat
41g Carbs
2g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
Amount per serving
Calories 334
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 18g 24%
Saturated Fat 1g 7%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 804mg 35%
Total Carbohydrate 41g 15%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Total Sugars 27g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 4mg 20%
Calcium 23mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 214mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A great way to enjoy a West Indian pumpkin or calabaza is to turn it into fritters. You can serve these sweet pumpkin fritters as appetizers, a snack, or even for breakfast the way they do in the Caribbean. Just add a little butter and syrup to start your day off right. 

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds calabaza  flesh with the rind and seeds removed

  • 1 tablespoon salt

  • 8 cups water

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup flour

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable oil, for frying

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    West Indian Pumpkin Fritters (Frituras de Calabaza) ingredients

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  2. Cut the calabaza into pieces of equal size. Place them in a pot and add the water and salt.

    Cut the calabaza into pieces of equal size and place into pot

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  3. Bring the water to a boil and reduce the heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for about 30 minutes until the calabaza are soft.

     calabaza cooking in a pot

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  4. Remove and drain the calabaza in a colander. Let it sit for about 15 minutes to drain off all the liquid.

    Remove and drain the calabaza in a colander

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  5. Place the calabaza in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar, flour and vanilla. Mix well.

    Place the calabaza in a mixing bowl with the sugar, flour and vanilla

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  6. Heat the oil to 350 F in a frying pan. 

    oil in a pot

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  7. Add the calabaza mixture to the oil in spoonfuls. Cook the spoonfuls until they're golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. 

    West Indian Pumpkin Fritters (Frituras de Calabaza) cooking in oil

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

  8. Drain on paper towels before serving.

    West Indian Pumpkin Fritters (Frituras de Calabaza)

    The Spruce / Stephanie Goldfinger

Variations

  • If you can't find calabaza at your local market, you can substitute butternut, Hubbard or acorn squash.
  • You can use cooking spray rather than the oil for a virtually fat-free variation, but you won't get quite the same crispy effect. 
  • Some pumpkin fritter recipes call for nutmeg. This adds a tasty touch and is a common variation in Jamaica.
  • Add an egg to the mixture for lighter, fluffier fritters. 

Tips


  • The exact number of fritters you'll get from this recipe depends on how big your spoonfuls are. Add a little cooking time in the oil to make sure they're warmed all the way through if they're particularly large. If they're on the small side, avoid overcooking them. 
  • Some Latin American markets sell calabaza already cut into pieces, doing a lot of the prep work for you. For optimal freshness, look for flesh that is moist but not wet or soft. The flesh should be bright orange in color.