Pumpkin is one of South Africa’s favourite vegetables. Most restaurants serve pumpkin and spinach as vegetable side dishes with main meals and all mothers buy it for their families. There are many ways in which you can serve the great varieties of pumpkin available like butternut squash, herbert squash, “boer” pumpkin or red pumpkin, to mention just a few.
Not all types of pumpkin are in season and therefor available all through the year, so you have to use the one that is in season at a certain time. The most common and quickest way to prepare pumpkin is to boil it in a little bit of water, season lightly with salt and add some cinnamon. Otherwise you can mix the pumpkin with flour, salt and egg and bake “pampoenkoekies” in a little bit of oil, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and serve warm.
Another favourite recipe from times gone by, a truly traditional South African recipe, is “pampoenmoes”. You can either bake this in the oven or boil it in a little bit of water in a saucepan. This is a recipe worth trying:
8 slices of white bread
2 cups of pumpkin (1 butternut squash should do. Slice very thinly)
1. Butter the bread on both sides and spread apricot jam on the side facing up. Place one layer in an oven proof glass dish, jam facing up.
2. Cut the pumpkin thinly, season lightly with salt and place on top of the bread.
3. Mix the sugar and cinnamon together and sprinkle over the pumpkin.
4. Repeat this until all the pumpkin and bread is used up, finishing with a layer of pumpkin. Dot a few extra clots of butter on the top.
5. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour in a pre-heated oven of 180°C
Serve the pumpkin hot with vegetables and maybe a lovely chicken dish, maybe a pie? This is a great dish to try and impress your friends with. It is very easy to make, so try it and see what happens!