Ethiopia Squash

Jeff & Linda's Kitchen of Diversity

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Pumpkin Stew (Yedubba Wat)


The classic Ethiopian flavorings of onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, berbere, and spiced butter are a revelation when cooked with winter squash:  while not tasting like any squah you’ve ever eaten before, it will also never have tasted as good.  For this recipe it is important that you find a sweet, non-stringy winter squash, preferably a Cucurbita maxima (some type of Hubbard) or a Cucurbita moschata (some type of Butternut).  Acorn Squash (a Cucurbita pepo) is just too bland and stringy to be enjoyable; use these for baking with butter and brown sugar.  Makes 8 cups


2 cups red onions, chopped

½ cup spiced butter, melted

1 tablespoon pressed garlic

1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger paste

1 tablespoon berbere paste

1 teaspoon whole cardamom seed, ground

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 cups cubed winter squash

4 cups water

Salt to taste


Sauté onion in spiced butter until softened, about 10 minutes.  Add in garlic, ginger, berbere, cardamom, and black pepper.  Stir fly over medium heat for 3 more minutes.  Add in the squash cubes, and stir to coat evenly.  Add in water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 20-30 minutes until the squash is tender.  Be sure to check the squash starting at 15 minutes of cooking, as you don’t want the pieces to over cook, become mushy, and break apart.  Serve hot.

We recommend you use a pungent red onion like Wethersfield Red or  Creole Red, and a nutty, hot garlic like Himalayan Red.   Try a Curcurbita maxima variety like Ambar, Blue Hokkaido or Olive Verte.