Flavorful pumpkin rice with coconut milk, an easy and delicious side dish or light main meal, perfect for the fall or holiday season.
What can be easier to make than a rice dish? Just one pot, a few ingredients, and short cooking times. And the results are always delicious! Not only this pumpkin rice but any rice dish, actually.
Have a look at the Nigerian Jollof, for instance, the Puerto Rican one, the carrot rice, or the Buttered Rice with Garlic. All are easy to make, spicy, and brightly colored. Perfect as a side dish for pretty much anything or as a main meal with a salad on the side. Or try a Creamy Pumpkin Risotto.
What do you need?
- I use Hokkaido pumpkin most of the time.
- Also known as red Kuri squash, the Hokkaido is the best-tasting pumpkin I know; it is sweet and flavorful and not watery at all.
- Another bonus: it is the only sort I know that doesn't need peeling.
- Alternatively, you can use another sort; just make sure it is a very flavorful one; this dish relies on that flavor. Any other kind should be peeled before chopping.
- Regular long-grain.
- Basmati or Jasmin is great as well; you might want to reduce the cooking time in this case slightly. Always check.
- You could also make the dish with brown rice; in this case, you will have to prolong the cooking time and slightly increase the broth amount you are using.
- 1 small onion or half a medium one, garlic, 1 long green pepper, and parsley.
- I had a long green Turkish pepper, which is rather hot. If you use regular green bell pepper, add some fresh chili or dried chili flakes to the dish to make it spicier. Always to taste.
Spices: allspice, dried thyme.
- Good quality vegetable stock and coconut milk.
- I normally use only ½ a can of coconut milk to make pumpkin rice. However, you can pour the whole can into the dish and reduce the broth amount by a scant ½ a cup.
How to make pumpkin rice?
- Wash and dry the pumpkin. If using Hokkaido, there is no need to peel it; any other sort should be peeled. Remove the seeds. Chop into smallish cubes. Set aside.
- Cook the chopped onions and peppers in the oil or melted coconut oil until the onions are slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. (1)
- Add grated garlic, spices, and pumpkin, and stir for 2 minutes. (2)
- Add coconut milk and 1 cup broth, cover, and cook gently for about 5 minutes. (3, 4)
- If using brown rice, you can add it to the pot together with the milk, pumpkin, and all 3 cups of broth. A small amount of extra broth might be necessary in this case.
- Wash the rice very well. Add it to the pot together with the remaining broth, salt, and pepper to taste. (5)
- Cover and simmer on low heat until the rice is cooked through. Regular long-grain will need about 15-20 minutes, Basmati or Jasmin slightly less, and brown rice for about 40 minutes. Just check to be sure. (6)
How to serve?
The pumpkin rice is best served immediately, but it can also be reheated. When reheating, do it in a non-stick saucepan and add a small amount of broth to prevent it from catching and from being too dry. Reheat on low heat, covering and stirring frequently.
The dish keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days, but I don't find it suitable for freezing.
Perfect as a side dish for chicken. Try it with roasted half chicken, cast-iron chicken breast, or baked BBQ chicken breast. Or with a simple green salad with yogurt dressing.
More easy rice dishes
- 1.3 lb pumpkin 600 g, Note 1
- 1 small onion
- 1 long green pepper Note 2
- 2 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 1 cup coconut milk 250 ml/ 8.5 fl.oz
- 3 cups vegetable broth 750 ml/ 25.3 fl.oz, divided
- 2 cups long-grain rice 400 g/ 14 oz
- fine sea salt and black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- Prepare pumpkin: Wash and dry the pumpkin. Halve, remove the seeds, and weigh the needed amount. Chop into small cubes. Set aside.
- Saute: Finely chop the onion and the green pepper. Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or another thick-bottomed pan. Cook the onions and peppers for about 2 minutes until the onion is translucent. Grate the garlic on top, add allspice, thyme, and pumpkin. Stir well and saute for about 2 minutes, stirring often.
- Add coconut milk and 1 cup of vegetable broth. Stir, bring to a boil, cover, and cook on medium heat for 5 minutes.
- Simmer: Add the washed rice, the remaining 2 cups of vegetable broth, some salt, and pepper. Taste the broth to make sure it is salty/spicy enough. Stir, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and cook, covered, for about 15-20 minutes or until the rice is cooked to your liking.
- Adjust the taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.
- I had Hokkaido (red Kuri squash) pumpkin. If you use another sort, make sure it is a sweet, flavorful one. If you have Hokkaido you don't have to peel it, all other sorts must be peeled.
- The Turkish long green peppers I use are often slightly hot. If you use green bell pepper instead, add some chopped fresh chili or dried chili flakes to the dish, to taste.
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