We made and devoured this amazing Afghan-style pumpkin with meat sauce tonight and it was incredible. For those of you’ve who have eaten at the Helmand here in Baltimore, it’s very similar to their pumpkin dish (kaddo borawni) but with a meat sauce added. Nik and I think it’s better than theirs actually but that might be considered heresy in Baltimore so I won’t make that definitive statement. 🙂
The recipe has directions for making it vegetarian also if you’d prefer that. The yogurt sauce (which Mark called tzatzik!) is such a nice cool contrast to the other warm flavors in the dish.
We ate it with some Afghan flat bread that was super easy to make. The only difficult part was remembering to start the dough the night before. That’s why we ate the meal a week later than I’d planned. Soaking up the broth from the pumpkin with this bread definitely my favorite part of the eating experience. I didn’t have any of the seeds called for in the recipe so left them out. I’m interested to find some though and try it with those for the more authentic flavor.
I converted it to a soaked recipe, which was easier than usual since the recipe already calls for an overnight developement of a poolish (or, pre-ferment). I replaced 45g of the water with 45g of yogurt and then proceeded with the recipe as directed. I ended up letting it rise for closer to four hours becaue our house is pretty cool. We bake our pizza and flat breads on a baking steel. It makes INCREDIBLE crust. If you want to make your own pizza at home, it’s totally worth the investment. It’s quite heavy to move in and out of the oven but the payoff is amazing food. (The secret to using it is to preheat it for around an hour at 500+ degrees. This is a lovely thing to do in the winter because then your kitchen will be deliciously warm.)
If you don’t have a pumpkin or squash to use (we used a butternut squash from a friend’s garden tonight), both Nik and I agree that it would be fine to use pumpkin/squash puree in exchange. The texture will be very different, of course, but the flavor will be the same.
Definitely add this to your plan for a meal sometime very soon. You won’t regret it.