Sweet and Spicy Braised Pumpkin

Sweet and spicy pumpkin served with white rice.

Sweet and spicy pumpkin served with white rice.

This is one of those recipes that I threw together with the stuff I had leftover in my fridge and it turned out pretty damn good. It is a spin-off of one of my favourite Afghan recipes that I used to always make at home called Borani Kadoo. I don’t have the ingredients to make the Afghan version, so I Jamaicanized the recipe and I am pleased with the Jamaican version. I did not have country pepper/scotch bonnet or ginger in the fridge, but I am gonna write the recipe with those included, because next time I am gonna add those. When I make this intentionally. I used ground cayenne instead of scotch bonnet this time.

Ingredients:

-1/4 cup vegetable oil
-1 to 2 cups vegetable broth (I used 1 Maggi cube)
-2 sprigs fresh thyme
-4 crushed pimento berries
-1/3-1/2 scotch bonnet pepper (without seeds)
-1-2 spoonfuls of sugar
-2 diced plummy tomatoes
-1 chopped sweet pepper
-2 stalks chopped escallion
-turmeric or curry powder (for colour)
-1 finely chopped onion
-3 cloves grated garlic
-2-3 tablespoons grated ginger
-2 lbs pumpkin, cut into 2-inch slices

Sliced pumpkin before you throw it in the pot.

Sliced pumpkin before you throw it in the pot.

1. Mix the oil, broth and sugar in a bowl. Then add the thyme, pimento, scotch bonnet, tomatoes, sweet pepper and escallion. Cover and set aside.
2. In a dutch pot over low heat, saute the onion, garlic and ginger with enough oil to sauté. When onion is translucent, pour the sauce into the dutch pot and stir to mix, still on low heat. When sauce begins to bubble, add the turmeric or curry. If you used cayenne instead of scotch bonnet, add the cayenne at this time, too. Taste the sauce as it cooks and adjust seasonings to your tastes.
3. When the veggies are a little tender, remove pot from heat and pour sauce into a bowl.

Yum! Ready to share out.

Yum! Ready to share out.

4. In the same pot, place the pieces of pumpkin. Then pour the sauce over the pumpkin back into the pot.. Cover and allow to simmer on low or medium-low heat. You should probably move the pumpkin around as it cooks so that it cooks evenly on all sides. Pumpkin is ready when it is easily pierced with a fork.
5. Tips: I really like the spicy-sweet combo of this. If you do not like the sweet, you can probably leave out the sugar. I ate this with white rice, but I bet it would be super delicious with roti. I think I am gonna try it with fried bammy later in the week.
6. The traditional Afghan way to eat this is with yogurt sauce. I can’t afford yogurt here, but if you can. just mix some plain yogurt with some salt and garlic. Then put a dollop on the pumpkin. It is a really nice addition.

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