Afghan-style Garlicky Pumpkin Tartlets


Makes 6 tartlets

10 sheets phyllo dough, thawed. (1 stack of 5 sheets makes 4 round tartlets)
1⁄4 cup melted butter
3 tablespons sugar
1⁄4 teaspoon Saigon cinnamon
1⁄2 teaspoon coriander
1⁄2 teaspoon cardamom
Dusting of grated nutmeg
11⁄2 pounds sugar pumpkin
Drizzle of olive oil
1 cup Greek style yogurt
5 large cloves of garlic, minced fine
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

First, make the tartlets. Make a stack of 5 sheets of phyllo, brushing each layer with the melted butter. Cut into 4 equal pieces (rough squares) and press each one into a lightly greased tartlet pan.  Repeat to fill the remaining 2 tartlet pans. Bake for 10 minutes, until brown and crispy, and allow to cool on a rack.

Meanwhile, make your yogurt garlic sauce. Mix the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Taste for balance. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

To make the pumpkin, cut in half and remove the seeds. Combine the sugar, cinnamon, coriander and cardamom. Lightly brush the pumpkin with olive oil and half of the sugar mixture. Bake in a roasting pan in 2-3 inches of water at 375 degrees until just tender, about 25-30 minutes. Remove the flesh from the shell, and break up into chunks.

Place it in a casserole dish. Add a bit more olive oil, the rest of the sugar and a dusting of nutmeg. Place back in the oven until very tender.

To serve, fill the tartlet shells with the warm pumpkin and drizzle the cool sauce over top. (The extra yogurt is a fabulous substitute for mayo on a sandwich.)

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