Recipe: Pumpkin Wat

As you can see here,we had a good pumpkin year. I’ve made cranberry pumpkin bread and pumpkin pie filling. I’ve given pumpkins away. I’ve frozen pumpkin puree.  I’ll be making yet more pies for Thanksgiving. But we still have a ton of pumpkins.

Time to break out a recipe that my oldest Ethiopian daughter taught me soon after she came to America. If you’re looking for a way to add an Ethiopian twist to your traditional Thanksgiving dinner, this Ethiopian wat (or stew) may be just the ticket.



  • 4 cups raw pumpkin, skinned, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, pureed
  • 1/4 cup butter (or vegetable oil)
  • 1-2 tablespoons berbere

Start by chopping up part of a pumpkin into about 1-inch cubes (a total of 4 cups), removing skin and seeds. Mince 1 medium-sized onion.  Puree 3 medium tomatoes.

Heat a heavy skillet over medium high heat, and add the onion. Cook the onion in the skillet dry, stirring often, until the onion is lightly brown. At that point add 1/4 cup of butter and 1 T. berbere. Cook the onion for another minute or so. Then add the pureed tomato and the pumpkin chunks.

Let it cook until it is bubbling. Turn down the heat to medium-low. Cover the pot and simmer for 15 minutes or so, stirring every few minutes and making sure the food does not start to stick to the bottom of the pan. If is does, you can turn the heat down and/or add a little bit of water.

When the pumpkin is done it will be soft and slightly translucent, though not falling totally apart. You can serve this over rice, pasta, or injera. This recipe makes a wat that is only mildly spicy. Add more berbere if you like spicy food. I was amazed at how nicely the berbere flavor blended with the pumpkin.


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