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5 from 1 vote
Bowl of Pumpkin Stew and Rice Topped with Fresh Cilantro
Spiced Afghan Pumpkin Stew
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
35 mins
Juicy chunks of pumpkin are simmered in tomato sauce with spices, then served over basmati rice with cashew cream to make this Afghan-inspired pumpkin stew!
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Afghan, American
Servings: 4
Calories: 282 kcal
Author: Alissa
  • 2 small or 1 large approx. 4 pounds total weight sugar pumpkin (could sub butternut squash)
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable or olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced
  • 4 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tbsp. grated fresh ginger
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. chili paste or harissa adjust to heat preference
  • ¼ tsp. salt or to taste
  • 1 tbsp. raw sugar or granulated sugar of choice
  • 1 to 2 cups vegetable broth
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • cooked basmati rice for serving
  • cashew cream for serving (optional)
  • fresh cilantro for serving
  1. Peel and seed pumpkin. The best way to go about this is to cut it into a few large chunks, scrape out the seeds and pulp, then go at the outside with a peeler or sharp knife. Cut the flesh into ½ to 1 inch cubes. Set aside.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in large skillet. Add onion and sauté for about five minutes, or until onion begins to soften.
  3. Add garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and turmeric, and continue to sauté until fragrant, about one minute.
  4. Add chili paste, salt, sugar, broth, tomato paste and pumpkin. Bring to simmer.
  5. Cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until pumpkin is very tender, adding additional broth (up to 1 cup) if the mixture becomes too thick. Taste test and adjust seasonings as needed.
  6. Divide onto places with basmati rice. Top with cashew cream and cilantro.
Recipe Notes

I remade this recipe three years after originally posting, in order to reshoot the photos, and I felt like the spices were a bit off, so they've been updated in the ingredients list. If you made the original version and loved it, it called for 1 tablespoon turmeric, 1 teaspoon cumin and ½ teaspoon cinnamon.

Nutrition information does not include accompaniments.

Nutrition Facts
Spiced Afghan Pumpkin Stew
Amount Per Serving
Calories 282 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Saturated Fat 1.4g7%
Sodium 508mg21%
Potassium 1278mg37%
Carbohydrates 48.8g16%
Fiber 15.1g60%
Sugar 21.5g24%
Protein 8.4g17%
Calcium 120mg12%
Iron 8.1mg45%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.