This savory mashed pumpkin is a sweet and spicy side dish made with fresh pumpkin and topped with crunchy coconut. Serve this pumpkin mash on toast or with chicken, fish, or rice and curry as a vegan side dish.
About pumpkin mash recipe
This Halloween season you might be preparing yourself for carving those pumpkins or baking a pumpkin pie or cooking roasted pumpkin soup. Why not cook something different with the pumpkin, that is equally tasty and nutritious? This mashed pumpkin recipe is quite versatile. It can be served as a side dish with any protein. The leftovers can be used as topping for wraps or spread on toast with leftover meat or fried eggs for breakfast the next day. Add this curried mashed pumpkin to cooked oatmeal for a savory pumpkin oatmeal porridge.
This recipe is loosely adapted from “Mathanga Erissery”, a simple Indian mashed pumpkin recipe that uses pumpkin, coconut and a few spices. Disclaimer: carrots, onions, and fennel seeds are not part of the traditional dish. I’ve taken the liberty to add them for extra flavor and nutrition.
The main ingredients of this easy vegan pumpkin recipe – pumpkin, coconut, garlic and fennel seeds among other health benefits, help reduce bloating and aid digestion, which makes this recipe an absolute bloat-buster that helps in weight loss, especially during the holiday season when you tend to overeat. With just 96 calories this mashed pumpkin is a perfect side dish that is so HEALTHY, so TASTY.
Health benefits of pumpkin and other ingredients
- Pumpkin is packed with nutrients such as beta carotene, antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, which are essential for heart and eye health. Though pumpkin tastes sweet, it is low in sugar, starch and calories. It is an amazing source of water, packed with potassium, fat-free, high in soluble fiber, reduces bloating while helping digestion and elimination. The high potassium content of pumpkin is known to lower blood pressure and risk of stroke and heart disease. (source)
- Fennel seeds have a calming effect on the intestine. Its antispasmodic properties can reduce intestinal cramps, bloating and flatulence. It reduces bad bacteria and increases good bacteria in the gut. It is also rich in various minerals and vitamins, antioxidants, flavonoids and phytonutrients.
- Coconut, due to its strong antioxidant properties and high fiber content, improves digestion, increases metabolism, stabilizes glucose levels and fights infections.
- Garlic, in addition to regulating blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, is rich in antioxidants and helps stimulate digestion and appetite, thus reducing bloating.
- Turmeric: Its healing properties come from its main ingredient curcumin which has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. If you’re a fan of turmeric, you might want to try the delicious 4-ingredient turmeric tea recipe.
- The pumpkin I’ve used here is the winter squash or Japanese pumpkin. The small sugar pumpkin can also be used.
- Carrots provide a delicious crunch and more beta carotene.
- Desiccated coconut adds to the crunch and sweetness. The traditional recipe uses roasted coconut. I personally prefer raw coconut shreds, you can use either.
- Mustard and fennel seeds, onion and garlic enhance the flavor.
- Chili powder adds a spicy contrast to the sweet pumpkin. Curry leaves are used for garnishing.
How to cook mashed pumpkin
How to boil pumpkin on stove
Clean and cut the pumpkin in half. Spoon out the seeds and peel using a peeler or knife. Chop pumpkin into 1-inch cubes. Boil the pumpkin cubes with a pinch of salt in a large pot of water. It would take about 10 minutes for the pumpkin to cook. Drain and keep aside.
Quick tip: Do you find it difficult to peel or chop fresh pumpkins? Try this hack: Halve the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Roast in the oven with cut side down at 200°C/ 392°F for 15 to 20 minutes until it becomes soft enough to peel and chop. You can also roast all the way until the pumpkin is fully cooked and scoop out the flesh (as I did in the whole roasted pumpkin soup). But that would take longer than boiling the cubed pumpkin on the stovetop.
How to flavor boiled pumpkin
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and fennel seeds. After they splutter, add onions, garlic and curry leaves. Saute until onions are lightly browned. Add boiled pumpkin, grated carrot, chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Stir on low flame for about 10 minutes until all the ingredients are mixed well. Mash with the ladle until you get the desired texture. Turn off the heat and garnish with fresh desiccated coconut and curry leaves. You can also use toasted coconut flakes for garnishing.
How do you use Pumpkin Mash?
Serve mashed pumpkin with lemon-flavored brown rice for a healthy vegan meal.
Spread savory mashed pumpkin on toast. Top with fried or boiled egg slices or shredded meat for a breakfast rich in fiber and protein.
More serving suggestions
As a side dish with:
Common questions about mashed pumpkin
How to cook fresh pumpkin?
There are many ways to cook pumpkin: Chop and boil on stovetop, slice and roast in the oven or roast as a whole. Fo the stovetop method, peel and chop the pumpkin into small cubes. Cover with water and bring it to a boil. Simmer until soft to the touch. Drain and season as per the instructions.
How long does pumpkin take to boil?
Chopped pumpkin cubes take just about 5 to 10 minutes to boil. Chopping and boiling is the quickest method to cook fresh pumpkin for mash.
A few fun facts about pumpkin:
- Pumpkins are fruits and are 90% water.
- The world’s largest pumpkin weighs more than 1,700 pounds.
- The largest pumpkin pie ever baked was in 2005 and weighed 2,020 pounds.
- In early times, the pumpkin was used as an ingredient for the crust of the pie, not the filling.
- Pumpkin flowers are edible.
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This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated with new photos to serve you better!