Flavorful Afghan-Style Pumpkin Stew with Garlicky Yogurt

Use any kind of winter squash in this dish that you prefer. Butternut, pumpkin, acorn or delicata are all great options. If you go with acorn or delicata, you don’t need to peel them, just scoop out the seeds and cube. The combination of spices in this dish is incredibly satisfying and warming. Garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and coriander combine in a powerhouse of flavor, and together with the squash and chickpeas, create a superfood dinner that is as delicious as it is healthy.

Flavorful Afghan-Style Pumpkin Stew with Garlicky Yogurt

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Adapted from Ripe Figs
Use any kind of winter squash in this dish that you prefer. Butternut, pumpkin, acorn or delicata are all great options. If you go with acorn or delicata, you don't need to peel them, just scoop out the seeds and cube. The combination of spices in this dish is incredibly satisfying and warming. Garlic, ginger, cumin, turmeric, and coriander combine in a powerhouse of flavor, and together with the squash and chickpeas, create a superfood dinner that is as delicious as it is healthy.
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Servings 4

Ingredients
 

For the squash:

  • 3 pounds winter squash*, such as pumpkin or butternut
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the stew base:

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped or grated finely
  • 1- inch piece ginger, peeled and grated finely
  • 1- inch piece fresh turmeric, peeled and grated finely, or use 1 teaspoon ground
  • 1 small jalapeño, seeded and chopped
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds, or 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon coriander seeds, or 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 15- ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 teaspoons dried mint

For serving:

  • ¾ cup plain full fat yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, finely grated
  • A pinch of kosher salt
  • Cooked basmati or jasmine rice, or flatbread, optional

Instructions
 

  • If using the whole spices, place the cumin and coriander seeds in a dry skillet and toast for 1-2 minutes over low heat, making sure that they don’t burn. Turn them out onto a cutting board and crush with the flat side of a large chef’s knife, or use a mortar and pestle to crush them. Set aside. If using pre-ground spices, skip this step.
  • Preheat your oven to 375. Toss the cubed squash with the olive oil and salt on a large baking sheet. Roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring once or twice, until softened.
  • While the squash roasts, prepare the stew base. Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Saute the onion and a half teaspoon salt 8-10 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, turmeric, jalapeño, cumin, and coriander (I like to put all the spices together in a pinch bowl so I can dump them in all at once). Cook for another minute, then add the tomatoes, chickpeas, sugar, water and dried mint. Bring to a simmer and cook, partially covered, while the squash roasts.
  • Add the roasted squash to the pot, stir to combine and taste for seasoning. Add more salt if needed, a little more water if it seems too thick, then cover and keep warm until ready to serve.
  • Just before serving, stir the yogurt, garlic and salt together. Spoon stew into bowls, with cooked rice or flatbread if desired, and dollop a spoonful of yogurt on top.

Notes

For a different method using a sugar pumpkin, split it in half, remove the seeds and roast it cut side down on an oiled sheet. Then, once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh in large chunks into the stew. It melts into the other ingredients, making it more homogeneous than if you use cubed squash. A different, yet equally delicious version.
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