Home Cooking

Kaddo bowrani (Afghani pumpkin)


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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.