Baked Pumpkin with Garlic Yogurt

This recipe unveils an abundance of memories: a first date with the man who would become my husband 20 years later, early days of being a vegetarian, and an Afghan restaurant Francois and I loved in Chicago that eventually moved to Baltimore named Helmand.

Kaddo Bowrani is a sweet and tender pumkin-based Afghan dish on the menu of the Helmand restaurant that I always ordered, and today’s recipe is inspired by the memories of that legendary offering. The flavors have been adapted to suit a plant-based diet, but the comforting nature of the recipe is maintained, including the savory garlic yoghurt topping. The hardest part of this recipe is cutting the pumpkin, but the reward is well worth the endeavor!

Baked Pumpkin with Garlic Yogurt

Preheat the oven to 350˚

Starting in the center of the pumpkin, insert a sharp knife using pressure and cut towards the bottom of the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into quarters. Use a large spoon to remove the seeds. Cut off the stem and bottom. Peel. Cut the flesh into large pieces, 2″ to 3″ in size.

Place the pumpkin in a large rectangular baking dish. Sprinkle the pumpkin with the cinnamon, aleppo pepper and salt. Cover with lid or foil. Bake for 45 minutes or until soft. Test doneness with a fork and continue cooking for 15 more minutes, if necessary.

For yogurt sauce, combine both non dairy yogurts, garlic and salt together in a small bowl. 

To serve – Place 2-3 pieces of pumpkin on a small plate. Drizzle with 1 tbsp of maple cream and top with the garlic yogurt sauce.

serves 4 - 6


  • 1 small pie pumpkin
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp Aleppo pepper
  • ¼ tsp sea salt


  • 10 oz vegan yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ tsp sea salt


  • ½ cup maple cream, warmed