Pumpkin Stew is a very filling and hearty preparation made with pumpkins as the main ingredient. This is a semi-thick dish and every region of the world has its own style and variation of the same. There is no original recipe for pumpkin stews. References to the preparation have been found in cookbooks and documents from almost all eras. Essentially a winter dish, these stews are a popular household preparation and are often served in eateries, and cafes almost everywhere in the world, especially in regions known for their harsh winters.
Ingredients and Preparation
Ingredients: Ingredients typically used in the preparation of the stew include pumpkin (preferably fresh), water/broth (chicken, seafood, vegetable, etc., preferably homemade), white wine/beer, oil, onions and a light seasoning of salt and pepper. Vegetables and meats that complement pumpkins are added to make the stew fuller and more flavorful. Carrot, cabbage, peas, leek, celery, corn, tomato, green onions, turnips, shallots, pork, chicken, seafood and fish, to name a few, are popular additions. Herbs and spices like paprika, parsley, ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, etc., are added to spice-up the stew and make it more aromatic.
Preparation Overview: Pumpkin Stew is fairly easy to cook and 3-4 servings are made in about 20 to 25 minutes. To cook the stew, the pumpkin (and other meats and/or vegetables, if used) is cleaned and sliced as required and then sautéed for a few minutes in a large Dutch Oven or slow cooker. All other ingredients are added and the stew is simmered till done. The result is a semi-thick gravy with cooked pumpkins (and vegetables and/or meats). Chopped parsley and chives are popular garnishes.
Pumpkin Stew Recipe Variations
- Chicken Pumpkin Stew - A popular European preparation, this variation is made with chicken chunks as one of the main ingredients. The thick stew is usually served as a winter main course dish.
- Green Pumpkin Stews - These stews are made with pumpkins that are still raw or at least not completely ripe. The flavor of the stew, therefore, is more tangy and sour than usual.
Pumpkin Stew is essentially a winter dish and served piping hot. Usually, the stew is served as a complete meal, accompanied with toasted bread or steamed white rice. It can, however, also be served as an appetizer (in smaller quantities), part of the main course or even as a snack. A popular serving practice is serving the stew in a pumpkin shell that has been hollowed out and cleaned.