Sweet Pumpkin in Coconut

Servings : Serves 2-3

If you've lived in Kenya's beautiful coastal towns then you definitely will have heard of or had this wonderful wonderful dish! Anything in coconut is luxurious, am a die-hard coconut fan (thank you MOMBASA!!). But the combination of rich coconut milk on sweetened tender pumpkin is something beyond compare! Delicate and delicious, and just the perfect sweet dish to compliment your Iftar! I normally HAVE to make this a few times every Ramadhan.


  • 500gm pumpkin (peeled and cubed) little more or less is ok
  • 3/4 cup thick/heavy coconut milk
  • 3/4 cup thin/light coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar (or to taste)
  • 1/4 tsp. cardamom powder


Put the cubed pumpkin in a pan, and add just enough water to cover the pumpkin. Bring to a slow simmer for about 8-10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is slightly tender (a knife's tip should be able to pierce easily into it)

Drain and discard the water. Put the pumpkin pieces back into the pan. Now add the thin milk and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the cardamom powder. Once the coconut milk has started to thicken slightly, add the sugar. Try not to mix/stir to avoid crushing the pumpkin. Just gently swirl the pan to get the coconut milk all over. Don't worry if it seems the coconut milk isn't enough, you will notice once you add the sugar, it will release a lot of extra liquid.

Cover and let this simmer for a few minutes until the sugar has dissolved. Taste and adjust. Now add the thick coconut milk, and swirl to cover all the pieces. Simmer for about 5 more minutes (or until the thick coconut milk has fully thickened and cooked) and turn off the heat. Leave uncovered until it cools.

You can serve this warm or cold!  Enjoy!

Some people prefer boiling the pumpkin in thin coconut milk until it tenderizes. Whilst this gives it some extra coconuty flavor, the dish tends to not turn out as tender and delicate as the pumpkin that is boiled in plain water. Also, at times coconut milk gives off an oily smell when simmered for too long. So I prefer to cook my pumpkin this way and it gives fantastic results!!:)

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