Afghan, braised pumpkin pieces with lots of spices, served with a refreshing mint garlic yogurt sauce.
A super simple Afghan recipe for braised pumpkin, something to serve as a side dish with almost anything. Or as a light meal with some Afghan Naan Bread on the side. And if you like pumpkin side dishes, you will definitely love these amazing roasted pumpkin wedges or the pumpkin potato bake.
What do you need?
- I use Hokkaido (also known as red Kuri squash) most of the time.
- Occasionally, I make this recipe with butternut squash, it tastes just as good but it takes more time, as you will have to peel the squash.
- Hokkaido tastes better than any other pumpkin sort I know and you don't have to peel it.
- You can use other sorts of pumpkin or squash, just make sure they are a flavorful kind.
- Ginger, cloves, turmeric, ground coriander, pure chili powder or cayenne pepper.
For the dip:
- The dip is optional, but I really recommend it, it makes the meal complete, especially if you serve the Afghan pumpkin as a main meal.
- You will need some Greek yogurt, fresh mint, parsley and/or coriander.
How to make?
- Cut the pumpkin into pieces. There is no need to peel it if you use Hokkaido, but do peel any other sort.
- Slowly cook the chopped onion for about 8-10 minutes. It should be really soft and golden. If it threatens to catch, add a small splash of water every now and then and stir often.
- Add the grated ginger and garlic, turmeric, coriander, pure chili powder or cayenne pepper and stir for 1 minute.
- Add the tomato paste, water, sugar, salt, and Hokkaido pieces and bring to a boil.
- Lower the heat and simmer gently for 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes. You might need to add extra water if it gets too dry.
- Check, the pieces should be soft, but not mushy.
- Chop the herbs, grate the garlic and mix with the yogurt. Adjust the taste with salt and pepper.
What to serve with it?
Sprinkle the braised pumpkin with some of the mint and serve with the herbed yogurt and naan bread.
It makes a nice side dish for roasted chicken or turkey kebabs, for instance.
Add a salad, for a healthy vegetarian meal. You could try a couscous, bulgur, buckwheat or ancient grain salad, they would all be great in this combination.
Some more delicious pumpkin ideas:
Harry Potter's Pumpkin Pasties
Spicy Roasted Pumpkin Wedges - Simple and Delicious
Creamy Pumpkin Gorgonzola Risotto
Pumpkin Turkey Curry with Coconut Milk and Turmeric
This is an updated post from October 2014.
- 500 g/1 lb Hokkaido pumpkin red Kuri squash (Note)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 onion
- 1 inch ginger
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon pure chili powder or cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz/ 1 cup water
- 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
- fine sea salt to taste
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz/ 1 cup Greek yogurt
- 1 garlic clove
- small bunch of mint
- small bunch of coriander or parsley
- Cut the pumpkin into cubes.
- Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pot or pan. Chop the onion very finely and cook it gently on low heat until golden, about 8-10 minutes. Stir often and don't let it get too brown. Add a small splash of water now and then if it threatens to catch.
- Add the grated ginger and garlic, turmeric, coriander, and chili or cayenne and fry for about 1 minute or until fragrant.
- Add the tomato paste, water, sugar, and salt and bring everything to a boil. Stir in the pumpkin, lower the heat and simmer for about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the cubes. You might need to add extra water if it gets too dry.
- Sprinkle with some of the mint and serve with the herbed yogurt and naan bread.
- Mix the yogurt with the grated garlic and the chopped herbs. Add some salt to taste.
I love braised vegetables like this, healthy and flavorful. And, the herb yogurt always pairs wonderful with it.
What a delightful twist on sweet potatoes! Need to give these a try.
Margaret McLean says
This is delicious! Made it with squash since I didn't have pumpkin. Followed the recipe exactly except had to use paprika, cumin, oregano and cayenne pepper to make my own chili spice. loved it Thank you so much!
Thank you for the feedback, Margaret, I am so happy to hear it.