Pumpkin Chili

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Pumpkin Chili

This autumnal chili, invented by Didi Emmons, uses pumpkin flesh and seeds. The curry and cinnamon makes this chili a bit exotic. It’s a dish that Didi and her cat Henry thoroughly enjoy.

Serves 6

Ingredients:
1 sugar pumpkin, about 2 lbs.
1 T. vegetable oil
1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 T. chili powder
1 T. curry powder
½ t. ground cinnamon
6 plum tomatoes, chopped
2 ½ c. cooked bulgur
1 can organic kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
½ c. toasted (green) pumpkin seeds
½ c. chopped cilantro leaves and stems
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375. Cut the pumpkin in half with a large knife such as a cleaver. Scoop out the seeds with a large spoon, remove the stringy innards, and rinse the seeds in a colander to remove any bits of flesh. Lay the seeds out on a paper towel to dry. Place the pumpkin open side down and bake until the flesh is soft, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the pumpkin from the oven and put it aside to cool. Now sprinkle the rinsed and dried pumpkin seeds on a prepared baking sheet, sprinkle with some salt, if desired, and toast in the oven until they are nicely browned and crisp, about 10 minutes, depending upon your oven. Set them aside.

In a large heavy bottomed saucepan or stockpot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic, as well as the spices. Stir often for about 5 minutes, or until the onions turn soft. Add the tomatoes and bulgur and about 2 cups water. Bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, spoon the flesh from the pumpkin and add it to the simmering chili along with the beans. Cook the chili for about 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary to attain a chili-like consistency. Right before serving add the toasted pumpkin seeds and the cilantro. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot.

10 comments
Chef
Chef

It's best to follow the directions on the package of Bulgur since there are different types. The rule of thumb is generally 1 cup of bulgur to 2 cups of warm water, there is no cooking required, just a twenty minute soak. Then squeeze dry and use as directed. This chili recipe uses 1 cup dry soaked, drained bulgur. If you're not using nightshades at all I would simply eliminate them, taste the recipe and add what you like. Like most of our recipes this is extremely flexible. Toni

eileen traum
eileen traum

There are no instructions for cooking the bulgur and the amount is not clear. Can it be added dry?I don't use nightshade vegetables-what can I substitute for tomatoes?

Katie
Katie

I was just wondering what the serving size would be for this recipe? Thanks

Max
Max

I really enjoyed this recipe! I recently made it for an office pot-luck and it was the first to go. When I cooked the recipe the second time, I accidentally switched the curry powder and the chili powder (meaning 1 tbsp chili and 2 tbsp curry), but it still turned out really good. In fact, if you add a little bit more water, it could easily pass as an Indian curry dish. I also found that letting it sit for about a day let the spices soak into the pumpkin, so left-overs of this dish give you all the more flavors.

Chef
Chef

Hi Trudy, The best, and easiest thing to do is to pull away the seeds and wash them off before the flesh dries. I do this in a colander.Rinse them well (don't worry if there are little bits left hanging) and give them a quick dry with paper towels, just to remove excess water. Next heat the oven to 350 F and place the seeds on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. You may use a little oil either lightly coating the pan, or lightly coating the seeds, then sprinkle with some coarse salt. I generally bake them without oil and sprinkle with salt while the seeds are still moist. Bake them for about 10 minutes, tossing them about halfway through, just until they are lightly toasted. Seeds burn quickly so keep your eye on them. Thanks for writing! Toni

Trudy McDaniel
Trudy McDaniel

Is there an easy way to separate seeds from pumpkin stings? Do you roast them dry, or are the lightly coated in oil? At what temperature are they baked and for how long? Thanks.

Chef
Chef

Greetings Liesbeth. You are correct the beans were accidently omitted from the website recipe. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention! I've added them back in. Thank you for writing and we hope you keep watching. Toni

Liesbeth van Roekel
Liesbeth van Roekel

Hello, I watched your podcast but in this recipe there are no (kidney)beans... But i will make it like in the podcast, with the beans, more protein i think. P.S. i'm from the Netherlands. Greetings, Liesbeth.

Chef
Chef

A sugar pumpkin is simply a pumpkin grown for consumption. They are relatively small and usually found in the produce section next to other edible squash. Large carving pumpkins are lousy for cooking or baking. For this recipe I would feel comfortable substituting Butternut squash, but I wouldn't use canned pumpkin. The consistancy wouldn't be right. Sugar pumpkins are usually always available and are absolutely wonderful when you get them fresh from a farmstand or market!

Shanaya Nalina
Shanaya Nalina

What is a sugar pumpkin? Can canned pumpkin be sutstituted?

Trackbacks

  1. [...] In addition to my recent  freezer foraging, I’ve also been digging through my cupboards. This evening I discovered a can of butternut squash puree, so I decided to throw it into my pot of chili, acting as a substitute for pumpkin in my favorite Pumpkin Bulgur Chili recipe. [...]

  2. [...] Pumpkin Chili 1 sugar pumpkin, about 2 lbs. 1 T. vegetable oil 1 large yellow onion, peeled and chopped 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 2 T. chili powder 1 T. curry powder ½ t. ground cinnamon 6 plum tomatoes, chopped 2 ½ c. cooked bulgur 1 can organic kidney beans (drained and rinsed) ½ c. toasted (green) pumpkin seeds ½ c. chopped cilantro leaves and stems Salt and pepper to taste [...]