Monday, October 7, 2013

Afghani pumpkin and beef (Kaddo Bourani)

It's pumpkin season! I get excited when I see pumpkin recipes, but there is one recipe instruction that pretty much guarantees that I won't be making that dish:
(relevant Know Your Meme entry)
I'm not gonna do it. Nuh-uh. Not gonna happen. However, there's an Afghani dish involving pumpkin that I really wanted to recreate at home. My solution? Cut a pumpkin in half, roast it until soft, then easily peel off the rind and cut the flesh into cubes. This caused far less gnashing of teeth, plus I got that nice roasty caramelized flavor in the oven that you don't quite get from the stove top.
"Sugar Pie" pumpkin cut in half and roasted.

Slice it into wedges...

Use a paring knife to slide the soft pumpkin off of the skin.

So how did I discover kaddo bourani, anyway? Well, I was in New York visiting my family and I came across an Afghani restaurant, Khyber Pass. If I see a cuisine which I've never tried, I immediately want to eat it. So we walked in and were treated to meaty dishes with eggplant, pumpkin, bell pepper, and okra. My kind of eating! Seeing as its pumpkin season, I decided to recreate this particular dish at home. Normally it is served with a yogurt sauce, but to keep it dairy-free I made a tangy coconut milk dressing.

Serves 4

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 pumpkin, any variety intended for cooking rather than decoration. I used a 2.5 lb "Sugar Pie" pumpkin, which produced about 8 cups of cubes.
  • 1 onion, chopped (about a cup)
  • 1 Tbs olive oil or coconut oil
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1 Tbs fresh ginger root, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • One 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 cup thick full-fat coconut milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbs minced fresh mint leaves
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper
  1.  Combine the coconut milk, lemon juice, mint, and garlic powder. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Put in the refrigerator to chill.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Cut your pumpkin in half lengthwise. I use a paring knife to make the initial cut, then I separate the halves with a large chef's knife. Scoop out the seeds. Place it cut side down on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil or parchment paper (or use regular foil and grease it). Roast for about 30 minutes or until soft but not mushy. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and let it cool. 
  3. Meanwhile, brown the ground beef with the minced garlic in a large deep skillet over medium-high. When it is no longer pink, drain the grease (I use a turkey baster) and season with salt, pepper, turmeric, coriander, and cinnamon. Add the crushed tomatoes, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered until ready to eat.
  4. Cut the pumpkin into wedges, then cut the pumpkin away from the skin and cut the flesh into cubes. In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high. Add the onion and saute until translucent. Add the jalapeno and ginger and saute for about a minute or until fragrant. Stir in the pumpkin cubes, then deglaze the pan with a cup of water, scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. To serve, mound the pumpkin cubes on a plate, then top with the meat sauce and drizzle with coconut sauce. If desired, garnish with a sprinkle of cayenne.
Prep-ahead variation: You can roast the pumpkin and brown the ground beef with garlic ahead of time, which is what I did.


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Blogger said...

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Jean McDowell said...

What happen to the eggplant?
Cheers Jean

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