Braised Kabouya – Pumpkin / Butternut Squash


Braised Kabouya – Pumpkin / Butternut Squash.

A quick & easy side dish, flavoured simply with garlic and dried red chilli.


This recipe is from my Algerian mother-in-law.

I say recipe, I didn’t get exact quantities or cooking times. I did however, memorize the short list of ingredients and easy enough method. She taught me this last year when I was living at my in-laws place. Technically I’m still there (here!?), only 2 floors up.

Kabouya – butternut squash




dried red chilli(es)

oil (i use a combination of olive and vegetable (sunflower would be better))






Peel, dice and wash Kabouya. Add to braising pot with oil,salt, garlic chilli then stir. Add water, cover and allow to cook until it’s soft.


Easy right?

Well I went and made my recipe a bit more complex. By adding measurements when dicing the Kabouya. I tell you why, one time I made this with larger chunks which took longer to cook and were more a little more awkward to eat. Grab yourself a ruler.

One clear instruction given to me by mother-in-law, was only add a small amount of water to the squash, this is to prevent the garlic from burning while the squash warms up and starts releasing liquid. The Kabouya then cooks in its own liquid.

The two flavouring ingredients – garlic & red chilli bring spice and heat to the soft sweet squash/pumpkin. I’m a real wimp when it comes to hot food and the dried red chillies here are something else.

I’ve noticed, spices here are stronger in flavour and this is because they are fresher / freshly ground. Therefore you don’t need to use as much to flavour your dish, as you would say with those that have been sitting on a supermarket shelf for months / years.

For children or those of you with an even lower tolerance of heat than me, try a big pinch of ground sweet paprika instead.

Kabouya – squash / pumpkin

I’ve tried this dish, both with butternut squash then again with this green mottled grey/white-skinned variety.
After a quick google search, it seems to be Japanese Pumpkin, also known by the names: Kabocha, Buttercup Squash and Kent Pumpkin.

……Or it could be just a regular pumpkin that has green skin mottled with grey/white?! I really can’t tell because 1. I’m not really an expert when it comes to these vegetables and 2. I’ve never tasted a regular orange-skinned pumpkin before! I’d say that’s an achievement(allbeit a silly one), what with all the pumpkin/pumpkin-spiced food I’ve seen since I started blogging.

Kabouya being the Algerian derja- arabic word for both pumpkin and butternut squash.


I like having this Braised Kabouya as a side to a soup, such as Chorba Freek or my previous recipe Chorba Aadess.

Don’t forget your Khobz – bread to scoop it all up with.

With that being said, I have been known to heat up leftovers, mash with a fork, toss with cooked pasta, top with cheese and a drizzle of EVOL. elicious, It was only missing some real Italian cheese (one can dream) and parsley(I was all out).
That recipe idea is inspired by my Italian sister-in-islam who recommended I try kabouya with pasta.

The only real difficulty in making this dish, apart from that whole measuring with a ruler thing!?! is peeling the Kabouya. That being your first task, chop chop, I mean peel peel, get to it!


Braised Kabouya – Pumpkin / Butternut Squash

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Serving Size: 4

A spicy hot and sweet side Algerian dish of braised pumpkin / butternut squash with garlic and red chilli.


  • 700g peeled deseeded butternut squash, diced into large chunks approx 3cm*2cm
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower oil
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, grated
  • 1/2 dried red chilli, torn in half
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. In a medium braising pot over medium heat, warm oil, add diced pumpkin/squash, saute for a minute or two, stirring often.
  2. Add garlic, chilli and salt, stir and saute a minute more. Add water, cover and cook for 25-30 minutes until pumpkin / squash is soft but not mushy. Serve with some crusty bread.
Braised Kabouya – Pumpkin / Butternut Squash
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Braised Kabouya – Pumpkin / Butternut Squash

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