Home Cooking

Kaddo bowrani (Afghani pumpkin)


Home Cooking

Kaddo bowrani (Afghani pumpkin)

Allstonian | | Sep 1, 2006 02:48 AM

This dish came up on the Boston board - it's one of the standouts on the menu at the Helmand. I adapted my recipe from one I found on boston.com - don't know if it came from an article about the restaurant or not, but that's where I found it.

We eat it a lot in the fall and early winter when sugar pumpkins are available. I've done it with other winter squashes such as acorn or butternut - it works, but it's best with pumpkin. Butternut, especially, makes for a notably wimpier dish. (Nonetheless, we've been known to do it with butternut squash after the fresh pumpkins disappear from shops.)

One 2 to 2.5 pound sugar pumpkin
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 cup plain yogurt
1 clove garlic, crushed
Salt & pepper to taste

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 pound lean ground beef
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup water

Set the oven at 350.

Cut the pumpkin into quarters. Remove seeds and strings, peel the skin with a vegetable peeler, and cut down into about 2-inch chunks. [DH, who usually gets this job, points out that a harp-style (or "Y-style") peeler works best on the hard pumpkin - the straight vegetable peeler is much more difficult to use.]

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet [I actually use a cast iron dutch oven, which saves transferring to a different pan later on.] Brown the pumpkin pieces, turning frequently, until golden brown (about 5 minutes.) [I brown the pumpkin pretty aggressively in this step, while taking care not to scorch it.]

Transfer pumpkin to a roasting pan. [Since I use the dutch oven, I don't do this!] Mix sugar and cinnamon, and sprinkle over pumpkin. Cover [with foil if using a roasting pan] and bake for 30 minutes, or until tender.

[This seems like an awful lot of sugar, but go with it - the dish doesn't really come out sweet in the end, and it just isn't as tasty if you cut down on the sugar.]

While the pumpkin is baking, make the yogurt sauce and the meat sauce.

Yogurt sauce: mix together yogurt with one clove of crushed garlic in a bowl; season to taste with salt & pepper.

Meat sauce: in a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of oil and cook the onions until lightly browned. Add ground beef, the second clove of crushed garlic, and salt & pepper. Mix well and cook until beef is browned. Add tomato sauce and water, mix thoroughly and bring to a simmer, lower heat, and cook about 20 minutes until it cooks down to a thick sauce.

To serve: spoon yogurt sauce onto dinner plates, add a portion of the cooked pumpkin, and top with meat sauce. Serves 4. I usually make a bulgur pilaf to go with.

This is so tasty, and really easy. It's one of those meals where the different steps fit together really well - knocking out the yogurt sauce and the meat sauce fits just perfectly into the time that the pumpkin takes to cook in the oven.

Back to top

More posts from Allstonian