Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Afghani Pumpkin Chunks

To be honest, I was inspired to make this based on a menu item I didn't actually order at an Afghani restaurant - something called a Kaddo Bouarani, sweetened pumpkin with Afghani meat sauce. Since Lillian already has a wonderful recipe for the latter, I decided to try making the pumpkin half, especially since pie pumpkins are easy to find in the store these days (and cheap - my 3# pumpkin was $1). There are various recipes online - some call for more of a candying process, but I wanted something a little faster and less indulgent, so I based my recipe on the one here.

The actual cooking of the pumpkin is easy, but skinning is kind of a PITA, so you might save this for company. However, the flavors mix fabulously well, so it is worth it to make, and I think that the pumpkin might also go well with a more Italian meaty marinara sauce.

Afghani Pumpkin

1 medium pie pumpkin
2 Tsp oil

1/3 c. sugar
A couple pinches/shakes cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350.

Remove the stem of the pumpkin, then use a peeler (like for potatoes) to peel it - the Y-shaped ones probably work better, I had the normal swively kind. You'll find what works best with your peeler - I found a sort of half-moon motion peeled more quickly. 

Once peeled, cut the pumpkin in half, clean out the seeds and interior gunk, then cut it into 3-4" square chunks. In a large cast-iron skilled that you can put in the oven, brown the pumpkin chunks in oil for about five minutes. Remove the chunks from the pan, and toss with sugar and cinnamon in a large bowl. Return them to the pan, and cook for about thirty minutes, or until quite tender. Serve with Afghani meat sauce and yogurt dressing (make sure to add mint to the dressing, it really helps the flavor)

Pumpkin chunks

With meat sauce and yogurt

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