oil, as needed for frying
1/2 small pumpkin
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon coriander
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 cup flat root beer (I like Jones brand; ginger beer, a vegan porter, or spicy pumpkin beer would probably be good too)
1. Pour oil into large pot until it's about an inch deep. A saucepan might work, but definitely don't use a shallow pan. Put the heat at medium-low and clip an oil thermometer on the side of the pan so the tip is in the oil, but not touching the bottom. If you need, add more oil.
2. Heat to 365 degrees F. (shimmering and swirly). If it smokes, it's way too hot, you've ruined the molecular structure of the oil and have to start all over, so start low. To chop the pumpkin, you want to end up with pieces that are 1/2" thin. I suggest peeling it and slicing into strips like melon wedges, then cutting into squares, triangles, etc, and then slicing those in 1/2.
3. When finished, toss the pumpkin with the lemon juice and set aside to get juicy. For the beer batter, mix all the dry ingredients together, then drizzle the beer on top. The texture should be thicker than pancake batter, and can be a little clumpy. You can test the oil by dropping a small bit of batter in and see if it sinks and then rises while bubbly.
4. Drop 4-5 at a time in the batter, swish them around until they're thickly coated, then gently place them in the oil. If it splatters like crazy, your oil's too hot, turn it down and wait; don't add more frumpkins for a few minutes. Keep an eye on the little frumpkins because they like to hang out in the same corner and end up stuck together.
5. When they're a crunchy golden brown, fish them out with the basket or tongs, and place on paper towels on a plate. Cut the first one in 1/2 and taste to see if you need to adjust cooking time. I've deduced that pieces about 2" square take roughly 4 minutes to cook give or take a few. Keep in mind that the frumpkins decrease the temperature of the oil, so you'll want to wait a minute between rounds to let it heat up again.
Now, whether you serve them hot as a breakfast, a dessert, or a freakishly tasty appetizer with toothpicks, you need a dipping sauce. I have not tried the following suggestions: molasses, thickened coconut milk, tamarind sauce, marmalade, applesauce, lemon juice and nut butter, perhaps a tasting bar is in order. Let me know your thoughts if you try this.
If you actually have leftovers, I suggest warming them up the next day under a broiler or in a toaster oven, but they're not so great, so I suggest eating them all and having no leftovers. You will seriously eat these until you have frumpkins coming out your ears! You can thank me later, not right now, I'm busy frying up a midnight snack of rootbeer-battered frumpkins!