Pumpkin Saag

Remember that time I began a recipe blog and then completely abandoned it? Luckily all of you have been picking up the slack in the meantime (thank you for all of the delicious recipes!). I have a number of things I’ve been meaning to post here, but I made this last night and it was easy and delicious, so I’m going to begin with it.


  • 3 lbs pumpkin or butternut squash (other kinds of squash would probably work as well)
  • 2 tbsp peanut oil
  • 1 large white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/8tsp cayenne
  • 1 cup water (or broth, for extra deliciousness)
  • 1-inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 10 oz fresh spinach (about 2 bunches) washed and coarsely chopped
  • juice of 1/2 lime

First, bake the pumpkin (or squash, or whatever). (Protip: this recipe is made remarkably easy if you do this step a day (or a few days) in advance and refrigerate the pumpkin until you want to use it.) Preheat the oven to 350. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds, and place cut side down on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for about 45 minutes, until a fork can easily pierce the flesh.

Let the pumpkin cool completely. Peel away the skin and chop the pumpkin up into 1-inch chunks. It’s going to completely disintegrate anyway so you don’t need to get overly precious about technique at this stage.

Preheat a soup pot over medium-high heat. Saute the diced onion in the peanut oil until it begins to brown. Add the garlic and saute for 2 or 3 more minutes.

Add the pumpkin and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add the spices and salt, and grate the ginger directly into the pot (use a microplane grater or the finest gauge on your grater (LOL gauge, look at me making up grater terminology. JUST GET THE GINGER INTO TINY PIECES IN SOME WAY OK)). Add the water (or broth!) and cook for about 5 minutes, mixing often.

Add the spinach in three or four batches, mixing well after each addition.

Cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring often. Add the lime; taste and adjust the salt. Apparently this is best if you let it sit for a while before you eat it, but let’s be real, that’s not going to happen.

I served this with some basmati rice, a simple yogurt sauce (see below), and some chopped mango, and it was god damn delicious.

Spiced Yogurt Sauce

  • 1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp fresh lime or lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

Combine and serve!

Both of these recipes were adapted from Veganomicon.


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Filed under Entrees, Vegan, Vegetarian

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