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In South Africa, the term “pumpkin” is often used to refer to a specific type of squash known as a “Butternut Pumpkin” or “Butternut Squash.” This type of pumpkin has a distinct elongated shape and a pale orange to yellowish flesh. It is known for its sweet and nutty flavor, making it a popular ingredient in various South African dishes.

How to cook pumpkin South Africa

Butternut pumpkin is versatile and can be used in both savory and sweet recipes. It is commonly used in stews, curries, soups, and roasted vegetable dishes. It can also be mashed, pureed, or used as a filling for pies and tarts. In South Africa, it is often a staple ingredient in traditional dishes like "Pumpkin Fritters" and "Pumpkin Bread."
So, when you come across references to "South African pumpkin," it generally pertains to the Butternut Pumpkin or Butternut Squash variety.
In South Africa, pumpkin is a popular ingredient used in a variety of dishes. Here's a simple recipe for cooking pumpkin:
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Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Course Lunch or dinner
Cuisine South Africa


  • 1 medium-sized pumpkin

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 onion, finely chopped

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • Fresh herbs (such as parsley or coriander) for garnish (optional)


  • Prepare the pumpkin: Start by washing the pumpkin thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris. Cut off the stem, then slice the pumpkin in half. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp from the center using a spoon. Remove the skin from the pumpkin using a sharp knife, then cut the flesh into small cubes.
    2. Heat the oil: In a large pan or pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and minced garlic to the pan and sauté until they become soft and translucent.
    3. Add the pumpkin: Once the onion and garlic are cooked, add the pumpkin cubes to the pot. Stir well to coat the pumpkin with the onion and garlic mixture.
    4. Season the pumpkin: Sprinkle the ground cumin, ground coriander, and ground cinnamon over the pumpkin cubes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir the ingredients together to evenly distribute the spices.
    5. Cook the pumpkin: Reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the pumpkin to simmer gently for about 20-30 minutes, or until it becomes tender. Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and ensure even cooking.
    6. Check for doneness: To check if the pumpkin is cooked, pierce a cube with a fork. It should easily slide through without resistance. If the pumpkin is still firm, continue cooking for a few more minutes.
    7. Serve: Once the pumpkin is cooked to your desired tenderness, remove the pot from the heat. You can serve the cooked pumpkin as a side dish with meat or poultry, or use it as a base for soups, stews, or curries. Garnish with fresh herbs, if desired.



Enjoy your delicious South African-style cooked pumpkin!


Serving: 50g
Keyword pumpkin
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