Indian Kabocha Pie

kabocha pie

I wish I had gotten to this post before Thanksgiving, but life doesn’t always work out in the most ideal way. You can still have pie you know, Thanksgiving or not 😉 or have it next year, we certainly will! Anyhow, I had to get this one out before by the start of Winter!

sample kabocha pie

[Our Local & Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner]

So I got to the Fall squash party a bit late this year, and missed most of the sweet potato squash that Prana Farms grows. You see, I wanted to make my Sweet Potato Squash Pie again this year. Eric from Prana Farms was nice enough to give me one small squash, their last of the season. It was great, but it wasn’t going to make me a whole pie.

During the same visit to our neighborhood farmers’ market, I was thrilled to find out Eric had seen my Sweet Potato Squash Pie post from last year. Nothing warms my heart like a farmer telling me they liked what I did with their produce. I’d like to think I had a hand (or just imagine I did!) in all his sweet potato squash selling out like a sweeeet potato 😉 He said they’ll grow more. Please grow plenty more because I am really itching for that pie!

Like last year, I asked Eric to recommend what else besides pumpkin would make a nice pie. This year he pointed to a kabocha squash — a Japanese squash that is rough, mossy-green thing on the outside, which was supposed to be sweet and have a texture like a potato on the inside.

I was thinking “halwa” in my head. I ended up making my pie with standard Indian halwa flavors: cardamom, saffron, and nuts. It worked perfectly for the texture and taste of kabocha. This eggless pie tasted like a lot like pooranpoli and had the texture of potato halwa. I baked a home-made sweet, wholewheat, pastry crust, and for our feast I topped it with fresh whipped cream and freshly chopped pistachios.

kabocha pie

I used:
2 cups baked kabocha
3/4 cup cream
1/2 cup + 1 tbspn sugar (change is based on the sweetness of the squash)
1.5 tspn coarsely ground cardamom (grind it fresh!)
a pinch of saffron, crushed into a little bit of cream
1 eggless whole wheat crust (recipe below)

My method:
1. I dump all the ingredients in the food processor and get a nice fine pulp.
2. Add the spices next and mix properly.
3. Prebake the crust at 350 F (175 C) for 15-20 minutes.
4. Pour the filling into the crust and bake for about 30-40 minutes or just until the filling looks firm and starts cracking. Make sure the edges don’t burn.
5. Cool completely, cover and refrigerate.
6. Serve with freshly whipped cream and nuts on the top.

Eggless Piecrust  —  recipe adapted from the Vegetarian Times, with my notes below:

They used:
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tbspn sugar (I used 2 tbspn brown sugar)
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
1/2 tspn salt
1/4 cup ice cold water

Their method:
1. Pulse flour, sugar, and salt in a food processor several times to combine.
2. Add butter pieces and pulse a few times, until the mixture resembles coarse sand.
3. Add water to it, and pulse until the dough comes together.
4. Transfer to a sheet or plastic wrap, then shape it out into a nice thick disk.
5. Make sure the dough is wrapped tightly, and let it chill few hours before use — or overnight, like I did.

kabocha pie


Our Local & Vegetarian Thanksgiving Dinner

Along with the pie above, we also had a completely vegetarian and local Thanksgiving dinner. I had been wanting to do this forever and finally PCC (our local co-op) put the idea into my head that this was the year, when they asked people to take a pledge to eat as local as possible for Thanksgiving. It was sponsored by Cascade Harvest Coalition‘s Puget Sound Fresh.

I am starting with my absolutely favorite shot of our dinner table, in Polaroid!
our thanksgiving dinner table
We ate with everyone we know who is completely vegetarian, and all who like to the support the local producers! We ate the following:

  • Butternut Squash soup – made with butternut squash from Prana Farms, fennel from Alm Hill Gardens and carrots from Nash’s Organics.
  • Crostini with Honey Herbed Butter – Essential Bakery Columbia Bread with Prana Farms rosemary and a local wildflower honey.
  • Roasted Potatoes with garlic & jalapeno cumin oil – potatoes from Olsen Farm, garlic from Siddhu’s Farm, and jalapenos from Prana Farms.
  • Baked Sweet Potatoes with lime & scallions – sweet potatoes from Lyall Farms
  • Red Chili Brussel Sprouts & Cheddar – brussel sprouts from Sidhu’s Farm & Gold Glenn Creamery’s River Cheddar
  • Cranberry Ghost Pepper Chutney – made with Oregon cranberries and Indian Ghost Peppers from Alvarez Farms.
  • Roasted Delicata with apple, maple, walnuts & curry – squash from Nature’s Last Stand, apples from Lyall Farms & madras curry powder. I make a roasted delicata side every year with some variation. This year it was inspired by a recipe listed by Mark Bittman.
  • Radhika Desai’s Cornbread Stuffing from Top Chef Season 5 – made from eggless home-made corn muffins, squash, peppers, & fresh herbs from Prana Farms.
  • Thomas Keller’s Leek Bread Pudding – one of my good friends, who blogs at Capitol Hill Triangle, made this with market leeks & milk from Golden Glen Creamery. It was so good, we finished it the next day for breakfast 🙂
  • Eggless Pumpkin Cheesecake Pie – traditional pumpkin pie flavor, made with a sugar pumpkin from Alm Hill Gardens.
  • Eggless Indian-inspired Kabocha Pie – made with kabocha from Prana Farms, saffron, cardamom, and pistachios, in a wholewheat crust.

I served both desserts with a vanilla whipped cream, made with Golden Glen cream!

We Drank:
Sparkling White Wine – Domain Ste. Michelle Blanc de Blancs
Red Wine – a Williamette Valley Firesteed Pinot Noir from Oregon
Coffee – Seattle Coffee Work’s Obama Blend

thanksgiving dinner 2009thanksgiving dinner 2009
thanksgiving 2009 - party's over!