This recipe for mashed pumpkin, a sweet, spicy and crunchy side dish topped with coconut is a delicious healthy alternative to mashed potatoes. Serve this pumpkin mash with chicken or fish. Or with rice and curry as a vegan side dish.
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 recipe 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 “Mathanga Erissery”, a simple Indian pumpkin mash recipe that uses pumpkin, coconut and a few spices. 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 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 impressed, you might want to try the delicious 4-ingredient turmeric tea recipe.
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.
- 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
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 cubes in a large pot of water. It would take about 10 minutes for the pumpkin to cook. Drain and keep aside.
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 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 with lemon-flavored brown rice for a healthy 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:
- oven baked tandoori chicken
- masala chicken cauliflower rice
- baked lemon mustard fish
- lemon garlic quinoa or 3-bean spicy quinoa for a high fiber vegan meal
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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Thank you and happy cooking!
This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated with new photos to give you a better experience!