Pumpkin Stew

Pumpkin Stew

Yet another savory Pumpkin recipe. I experimented with some flavors and it turned out tasting really nice. If you like sour-ish and tangy flavors then you will love this recipe. The inspiration for the base of this dish came from a South Indian recipe called rasamIt is a tamarind based broth with a blend of sour and spicy flavors. I am not a big fan of it (mainly because it has strong flavors and is very hot) but I do have friends who specially buy rasam spice mix from India so that they can make it back home (USA). Also its a favorite among South Indians. Its supposed to have medicinal properties and it is fantastic to cure flu.

So I incorporated the tang from tamarind and tomatoes and infused it with various spices – paprika, cinnamon, cumin and parsley. The result was this mildly tangy broth that complimented the subtle sweet flavors from pumpkin, carrots & shallots so beautifully. While making this stew I was also aiming to achieve a tagine like consistency. I kept all the veggies chunky so that they could stand out.

You can serve this over couscous or eat it like soup with bread. I did both – one day with couscous and the following night with bread. It was delicious both ways! It is such a hearty dish that will keep you warn on cool evenings. Its vegan and super healthy – you hardly use any oil to cook the veggies. You can substitute the veggies with the ones you like – you can add sweet potatoes, parsnips, butternut squash…basically any winter vegetable. I hope you give this recipe a go – let me know if you like it!

Pumpkin Stew

Pumpkin Stew 02

Pumpkin Stew

Serving 2 to 3 people

Cooking time 30 to 40 minutes

Ingredients

Half of a small pumpkin, seeded, peeled and cut into big chunks

1/2 of a big zucchini, cut into chunky sticks

1 potato, peeled and cut into big chunks

2 small carrots, peeled and cut into chunky sticks

2 tomatoes cut into 4 wedges (each) + 2 more tomatoes (extra soft)

handful of roughly chopped shallots

2 tsp tamarind pulp

4 to 5 cups warm water

1/2 stick of cinnamon

1 heaping tsp ground coriander

1 heaping tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried parsley

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp dried parsley

1/2 tsp sugar

salt

  1. Mix tamarind pulp in 4 cups of warm water till dissolved completely. Take the 2 extra soft tomatoes, cut them in half and squeeze out the pulp (like you would squeeze a lemon) into the tamarind water. Mix and keep aside.
  2. In a large, heavy bottom pan (use the one in which you make soups) heat up some olive oil. Add shallots and cook with a pinch of salt & cinnamon stick till the shallots turn pink.
  3. Add potatoes and pumpkin and continue to cook for a few minutes. Add all the spices – cumin, coriander, parsley, garlic powder and paprika. Stir to coat everything in the spices well and continue to cook for a couple of minutes.
  4. Add the tamarind and tomato water and mix well. Add sugar and salt.
  5. Add the tomato wedges. Cover and simmer over low heat till the pumpkin and potatoes are semi cooked.
  6. Add zucchini and carrots at this stage, cover and cook on low till all veggies are cooked through. Keep checking though as you dont want them to turn mushy.
  7. Uncover and taste to adjust the seasoning.
  8. Serve warm with a crusty bread or over couscous.

Note: If you feel that the stew is getting thick, add some more water to make it soup-ish. Not too watery but thin enough to dip and soak a piece of bread.