The Helmand Restaurant in Cambridge,Massachusetts is a wonderful Afghan restaurant and it introduced me to one of my favorite dishes of all time Kaddo. Even though it was listed as an appetizer, each time I would go in, I would have it as my main course. I thought I was having something that was not only delicious but healthy for me as well after all Kaddo is roasted pumpkin with or without a meat sauce and a yogurt garlic mint sauce.
Up until this time, I had not made many dishes with pumpkin so when I did come across a recipe for Kaddo I learned the secret of making Kaddo was sugar, lots and lots of sugar which made the pumpkin taste so sweet it became addictive where you just wanted to eat more and more of the Kaddo.
Now that it is fall and pumpkin season is upon us, it is the time to make Kaddo. Yes, it does take a long time to cook, but it is a good dish if you are home on a weekend to make. After you read the recipe below, you will wonder if could tinker with the recipe and use less sugar? I have cut the sugar down by a half a cup or so without noticing a change but cut anymore sugar and the Kaddo was not the same. Can you substitute ground turkey or a non-meat alternative? I have tried it with turkey and it was good not as good as with beef. I have not yet tried it with a non-meat product but will the next time I make Kaddo.
The pumpkin is coated with oil and covered with sugar, then covered with foil and put in the oven for a little over 3 hours. The sugar and oil form a syrup that the pumpkin cooks in so of course it is sweet and delicious, add the meat sauce or just the yogurt sauce for which I use a greet yogurt and you have a wonderful meal.
So try the Kaddo and let me know how you like it. The only question I still have is how the Helmand Restaurant finds pumpkin all year long? Once November is over, I can’t find any sugar pumpkins and have to wait until the Fall comes around again to make Kaddo!
WEEKEND RECIPE: PUMPKIN WITH YOGURT & MEAT SAUCES (KADDO BOURANI)
LA HELMAND RESTAURANT
For a vegetarian variation, omit the meat sauce.
— 2 Sugar Pie pumpkins, each about 3 pounds
— 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons corn oil or other neutral oil
— 3 cups sugar
— Ground Meat Sauce (see recipe)
— 2 cups plain yogurt (do not use nonfat)
— 2 garlic cloves, minced
— 1 teaspoon dried mint
— 1/2 teaspoon or more salt
INSTRUCTIONS: Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
Cut the pumpkins in half through the stem end, and cut out the long stringy fibers. Cut each pumpkin half into 3- to 4-inch pieces. There should be about 8 pieces from each pumpkin. Using a vegetable peeler, pare the rind from the pumpkins, digging the peeler down a little to remove more than just the superficial layer of rind.
Place the pumpkin pieces hollow sides up in a baking pan large enough to hold them in a single layer. Coat both sides of the pieces, using all of the the oil. Pour all the sugar evenly over the pieces. Cover the pan.
Bake the pumpkins until the color turns darker orange and becomes nearly translucent, and the texture is extremely tender, about 3 hours and 15 minutes. Baste the pieces once with the pan juices after 2 1/2 hours of baking.
The Yogurt Sauce: Stir together the yogurt (I use Greek yogurt), garlic, mint and salt. Cover and refrigerate until serving time. Just before serving, taste and add more salt if necessary. Yields 2 cups sauce.
For each serving: Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the yogurt sauce onto a plate. Using the back of the spoon, spread the sauce a little. Using a slotted spoon, remove 2 pieces of the pumpkin from the pan and center them on the sauce. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the meat sauce over the pumpkin.
Serves 8 with leftover yogurt sauce.
PER SERVING: 585 calories, 13 g protein, 86 g carbohydrate, 23 g fat (6 g saturated), 41 mg cholesterol, 385 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
WEEKEND RECIPE: GROUND MEAT SAUCE
— 1/4 cup corn oil or other neutral oil
— 1 large onion, finely diced
— 1 1/2 pounds ground round
— 1 large tomato, finely chopped
— 2 large garlic cloves, minced
— 1 1/4 teaspoons ground coriander seed
— 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
— 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
— 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
— 2 tablespoons tomato paste
— 1 1/3 cups water
INSTRUCTIONS: Heat the oil in a heavy, medium-sized saucepan until it ripples. Add the onions and saute over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until they are golden brown, about 18 minutes.
Add, the beef and saute, stirring constantly to break it up into tiny pieces, until the meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato, garlic, coriander, salt, pepper and turmeric. Cook for 5 minutes.
Blend in the tomato paste. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
Use 2 to 2 1/2 cups of the sauce for the Kaddo Bourani. Cool, cover and refrigerate the remaining sauce for use throughout the week.
Yields 5 cups sauce.
PER 1/2 CUP: 240 calories, 17 g protein, 2 g carbohydrate, 18 g fat (6 g saturated), 59 mg cholesterol, 376 mg sodium, 0 g fiber.