Pumpkin Recipes for a Festive Fall

Pumpkin season is upon us. Hooray!

Since Iskashitaa did a large pumpkin harvest and the fall is looking a little bit more orange than usual, we thought it might be appropriate to showcase some pumpkin recipes you can try this season.

Some of these recipes call for squash, but let’s be real, squash = pumpkins, right?

Still, here is a collection of some delicious recipes you should try out this fall.


Muboora (Pumpkin Leaves)

Muboora has got to be my all time favorite leafy green vegetable. I love love love it! I  enjoy this version with tomatoes and onions as well as the dovi version (when it’s in peanut butter sauce), and in fresh cream or white sauce, totally delish! It’s however important to give muboora a thorough wash before cooking it as it usually has quite a bit of mud/ soil on it’s leaves. Eating it after it wasn’t washed properly will probably make you despise it! So again I emphasize, give it a real good wash.

Quick Instructions

·         muboora (pumpkin leaves) (1 bunch),

·         tomatoes (2 tomatoes, chopped)

·         onions (1/2 onion, chopped)

·         begin washing your muboora (pumpkin leaves). Give them a thorough wash until you’re satisfied that it’s clean (I did this 4 times just to be sure! )

·         Break of part of the stem and pull of the silk from the pumpkin leaves. Do this one leaf at a time. In Shona we call this kufurura.

·         After kufurura, cut your pumpkin leaves up.

·         Put some water (500 ml boiling water) in a pot and add bicarbonate of soda (1 tsp). Close the pot and bring the water to a boil.

·         Add your cut up pumpkin leaves to the boiling water and close the pot. Bring to the boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally in between. After 5 minutes drain your pumpkin leaves in a colander.

·         Give your pot a quick rinse (do not rinse the pumpkin leaves) then return the pumpkin leaves to the pot. Add cooking oil (4 tbsp), salt (1 tsp), onions and tomatoes.

·         Stir, reduce heat, close pot and let simmer until tomatoes and onions are cooked through (about 10 minutes).

·         Your pumpkin leaves are done. Serve with sadza (pap) and your favorite relish or just as is. Enjoy!




Servings: 4

Serve this dish with basmati rice or naan bread. It is delicious!

2 lb fresh pumpkin or orange winter squash (I used hubbard squash-- butternut would be good, too)

1/4 cup olive oil


1 Tbs crushed garlic

1 cup water

1/2 Tbs salt

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup tomato paste mixed with

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1 Tbs ground coriander

1/4 tsp freshly-ground black pepper

NOTE: I've seen a description of this with finely-chopped walnuts in it, too-- BCG


1/4 tsp (1 small clove) crushed garlic

3/4 tsp salt

3/4 cup Tofu "Yogurt" (see recipe below in "Cooking Tips"-- use 1/2 the recipe)

OR commercial tofu sour creme


fresh, chopped or dry, crushed mint leaves, crushed

Peel the squash and cut into 2-3" cubes; set aside. Heat oil in a large frying pan that has a lid. Fry the pumpkins on both sides until lightly browned.

Mix together ingredients for Sweet Tomato Sauce in a bowl, then add to squash mixture in fry pan. Cover and cook 20-25 minutes over low heat, until the pumpkin is cooked through and most of the liquid has evaporated. Mix together the ingredients for the yogurt sauce.

To serve: Spread half the yogurt sauce on a plate and lay the cooked squash on top. Top with remaining yogurt and any cooking juices left over. Sprinkle with mint.

**Nutrition Facts**

Nutrition (per serving): 366.5 calories; 34% calories from fat; 14.4g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 1237.3mg sodium; 991.6mg potassium; 60.8g carbohydrates; 5.4g fiber; 32.1g sugar; 55.4g net carbs; 4.3g protein; 7.7 points.

**Cooking Tips**


Yield: 1 and 1/2 cups

Silken tofu makes a smooth, rich-tasting mixture which can be used anywhere you would normally use yogurt, including cooking. The fruit variation is delicious for breakfast or dessert, but you can also eat it with a bit of brown sugar and bananas, or any other way you like.

1 (12.3 oz.) box extra-firm SILKEN tofu (can be lite)

1/4 c. lemon juice (bottled organic is fine)

1/2 tsp. sugar

pinch salt

Process in a food processor or blender until VERY smooth. Keep in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to a week. If you want a thinner yogurt, just add a little water until it's the consistency you want.

Bhutanese pumpkin leaf recipe

Recipe for pumpkin leaves:

-Vegetable oil


-light local chilies (depending on how hot you want)

-turmeric powder

-light salt

-small local garlic clove (optional)

-small ginger root (optional)

-Just do dry-fry, try not adding water, except for washing the vegetables...


(This one comes from one of the first Bhutanese refugees to meet Iskashitaa in 2008; Luvmoni Biswa. Thanks!!)


Coconut Curried Squash Soup

By: Sara Jones, Tucson CSA

Indian curry seasonings go especially well with winter squash. Use any curry mix you like for this recipe, or for a sweeter flavor use a garam masala, which uses spices like cinnamon and clove. I usually use a pre-mixed curry powder and then adjust it to my taste by adding more of the spices that I like best. I use pink lentils in here because the color goes best with the squash, but use whatever you have on hand.


2 tablespoons oil

1 red or green bell pepper, chopped

½ large onion, chopped

Garlic to taste

about 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 medium size butternut squash, peeled and chopped into large chunks

Curry spices; adjusted to your taste

¾ cup dry pink lentils

1½ quarts water

1 bunch cooking greens, chopped finely

1 can coconut milk

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large stock pan, heat oil and sauté onion, pepper, garlic and ginger for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in chunks of squash with curry spices and lentils then cook for a few more minutes. Add about 2 quarts of water, bring to a boil and add greens. Cook over a medium low heat until lentils and squash are soft, about 35 minutes. Add coconut milk, salt and pepper and cook for 5 more minutes. At this point you can either puree the soup and make it creamy and smooth, or leave it chunky.


Another Option: Roast the squash with other vegetables and add the cooked squash last.


Iskashitaa Pumpkin Carob Cookies

Made with Locally Gleaned Pumpkin & Carob

½ c. softened butter
1 ½ c. sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1 egg
1 c. pureed local pumpkin or squash
2 c. flour
2/3 c. local carob powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp pumpkin spice
Local pecans and/or raisins are optional


Cream butter and sugar together. When smooth and creamy add vanilla, egg, and pumpkin.
Mix together dry ingredients. Add to pumpkin mixture mixing well. Stir in raisins/nuts. Drop by spoonfuls on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-12 minutes.


Alfonso Cavada-Tavares

Iskashitaa Refugee Network

Soclal Media Intern