Mashed pumpkin, a side dish that is sweet, spicy and crunchy topped with coconut is a healthy alternative to mashed potatoes.
This Halloween season you might be preparing yourself for carving those pumpkins or baking a pumpkin pie or cooking creamy pumpkin soup. Why not cook something different with the pumpkin, that is equally tasty and nutritious? This mashed pumpkin dish is quite versatile. It can be served as a side dish and the leftovers can be used as filling for wraps or spread on toast with leftover meat or fried eggs for breakfast the next day.
This recipe is loosely adapted from “Pumpkin Erissery”, a simple Indian pumpkin mash recipe that uses beans and pumpkin. Disclaimer: carrots, onions, and fennel seeds are not part of erissery. I’ve taken the liberty to add them for extra flavor and nutrition.
The main ingredients of this easy pumpkin mash – pumpkin, coconut, garlic and fennel seeds among other health benefits, help reduce bloating and aid digestion, which makes this recipe an absolute bloat-buster, especially during the holiday season when you tend to overeat.
Health benefits of mashed pumpkin ingredients
- Pumpkin is a rich source of beta carotene, antioxidants, Vitamins A and C, that are essential for heart and eye health. It is an amazing source of water, low in sugar and starch, packed with potassium, fat-free, high in soluble fiber, reduces bloating while helping digestion and elimination.
- 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.
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.
Ingredients you’ll need for mashed pumpkin
- The pumpkin I’ve used here is the winter squash or Japanese pumpkin. The small sugar pumpkin can also be used.
- Grated carrots provide a delicious crunch and more beta carotene.
- Shredded 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 make mashed pumpkin
Peel and cube the pumpkin. Do you find it difficult to peel the pumpkin? See easy pumpkin soup to find out how to easily peel the pumpkin. Boil the pumpkin in a large pot of water. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard and fennel seeds. After they splutter, add cooked pumpkin, grated carrot, chili powder, turmeric powder and salt. Stir on low flame for about 10 minutes until all the ingredients are mixed well. Turn off the heat and garnish with coconut and curry leaves.
What to serve pumpkin mash with
Serve mashed pumpkin as a side dish with lemon-flavored brown rice with soybeans for a wholesome vegan meal.
Spread 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:
- masala chicken cauliflower rice
- baked fish
- garlic butter salmon
- lemon garlic quinoa or 3-bean spicy quinoa for a high fiber vegan meal
- 1 kg Pumpkin Japanese pumpkin, also called winter squash. Sugar pumpkin can also be used.
- 2 teaspoons oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon fennel seeds
- 1 Onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 carrot grated
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
- curry leaves for garnish
- Boil the pumpkin cubes in a large pot of water until soft, but not mushy. Drain and keep aside.
- Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard and fennel seeds. Once they splutter, add curry leaves, minced garlic, and the onions and saute until soft.
- Add the cooked pumpkin pieces, grated carrot, chili powder, turmeric powder, and salt. Stir on low flame for 10 minutes until well blended.
- Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with grated coconut. Serve with rice for a wholesome vegan meal. Or serve as a side dish alongside meat or fish.
- The pumpkin mash can also be spread on toast and topped with fried or boiled eggs.
This post was first published in September 2018 and has been updated with new photos to give you a better experience!