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Expat wanderer

Baked Stuffed Pumpkin

My visiting niece, Little Diamond, is vegetarian. AdventureMan and I are not vegetarian, we laughingly say we are meatatarian or meatavore, but the truth is, we don’t eat a lot of meat, either. Last I tried a new recipe, not entirely original, but a lot of fun, and it turned out really really good. It is also surprisingly easy. :-)

464_image1
(This is not my photo, but it looks a lot like my pumpkin. It is from visual recipes, another great recipe site)

I got the idea from a quilting friend in Kuwait who baked a pumpkin full of a meat stuffing. It sounded yummy. I filled it with a channa dal / burgul mixture (recipe follows) and I added:

1 chopped apple
seeds from 1/2 pomegranate
1/2 cup slightly chopped walnuts

Here is the original recipe for the stuffing:

• 3/4 cup chana dal
• One large onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic (or more, to taste), minced or pressed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 cup bulgur wheat
• 2 cups hot water
• 1 teaspoon salt (or less, to taste)
• 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley or cilantro
• freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

Soak chana dal for 10-12 hours. Drain and rinse.

Sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft (5-8 minutes). Add drained chana dal and bulgur wheat. Sauté for about 3 more minutes, until bulgur wheat is browned (it will begin to smell heavenly). Add all remaining ingredients except pepper, bring to a boil, and lower heat.

Simmer, covered, for about 35 minutes. At this point, check to see if the chana dal is tender enough for you. If not add a quarter cup more water and simmer another few minutes or until you are satisfied. Turn off heat and let sit, covered, for at least 10 minutes. Fluff with a fork and mix in pepper.

Makes about 6 cups.

The only hard part is remembering to soak the chana dal. ;-)

Pumpkin

Cut a lid off the top of the pumpkin. I usually put a notch, so I know how the lid fits back on.

You have to clean out the pumpkin, throwing out the innards (you can toast the seeds if you want). I also cut some of the pumpkin flesh into small pieces and added it to the stuffing, but that is optional.

Stuff the pumpkin tightly with the stuffing mixture, then line a baking bowl or pan with the remaining stuffing, set the pumpkin in the center, pour 1/2 cup of water – or wine, now that we are in Qatar – or broth – over the stuffing, and cover loosely with foil.

Bake at 350°F / 175°C for one hour, or more, until the pumpkin flesh is soft all the way through. Cut the pumpkin into slices to serve, and heap extra stuffing on top.

Delicious!

Additional hint – I use a Misto, a bottle you can fill with the best olive oil, pump, and spray. I spray the bowl before I put the stuffing in, to make cleaning easier, and I also spray the pumpkin to give it that glisten. It is very sparing with the olive oil, but you still get the taste.

Little Diamond asked if it were a potiron or a citrouille, two words the French use for pumpkins, but none of us could say definitely. I thought it was a potiron, because it is more squat and I thought citrouille were taller and oranger, but Little Diamond actually looked it up online after dinner.

AdventureMan reminded me of the time in Tunisia when Halloween was coming and I went to the market and bought a whole pumpkin to carve. I don’t think it was really a pumpkin at all, it was a huge pumpkin-like squash, and it was sold in slices, by the kilo. I bought the smallest one I could find, but it still caused quite a commotion, buying the whole squash, not just a slice.

And I was thinking, too, of my French friend who shared her recipe with me for the very best pumpkin pie I have eaten in my life, ever.

July 19, 2009 Posted by | Cooking, ExPat Life, Experiment, Family Issues, Food, Health Issues, Recipes, Tunisia | , | 2 Comments

   

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