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 rasam. It 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!
Serving 2 to 3 people
Cooking time 30 to 40 minutes
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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the tamarind and tomato water and mix well. Add sugar and salt.
- Add the tomato wedges. Cover and simmer over low heat till the pumpkin and potatoes are semi cooked.
- 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.
- Uncover and taste to adjust the seasoning.
- 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.