Native to Southern Asia, white pumpkin is known by a number of names, such as winter melon, ash gourd, Chinese watermelon, and ghost pumpkin. Commonly used in Chinese and Indian cuisines, it is loaded with vitamins and other important minerals. This squash has a firm flesh, a tender texture, and a mild and earthy flavor, making it a wonderful addition to curries, soups, salads, and even desserts.
New to this ingredient? Don’t fret. You can easily use it in your regular pumpkin recipes as it’s a subspecies of the common orange pumpkin! But, if you want something different, these white pumpkin recipes are especially divine.
Rich and satisfying, this grey ghost pumpkin soup is a wonderful comfort food that’s best served on chilly days. To make, add cubed squash to a skillet with onion, celery, and carrots, then add vegetable stock and cook until the veggies are tender. Next, puree everything with a blender until smooth, stir in coconut milk, then serve hot garnished with cilantro.
A classic pumpkin pie made with white pumpkin, this simple yet delicious recipe is the stuff of dreams. To make, combine pureed white pumpkin, eggs, condensed milk, evaporated milk, and some spices and seasonings to make the filling. Next, pour the mixture into a homemade pie crust and bake in the oven until the top is lightly browned. Let it rest for 10 minutes, and serve!
This traditional Indian stew looks just as amazing as it tastes. Make it with white pumpkin, chana dal (split chickpea lentils), turmeric powder, sour yogurt, and salt, and a mixture of almonds, coconut, coriander, green chilies, and cumin seeds ground together. Once cooked, add a tempered seasoning of oil, mustard seeds, urad dal (black gram), curry leaves, and asafetida on top before serving.
This vegan, gluten-free dish comes together in under 30 minutes and is made in an instant pot — perfect for a go-to meal to make on busy weeknights. It’s made by cooking cubed ash gourd, with water, coconut milk, rice flour, and a variety of spices. Let it simmer until the stew thickens. Serve warm with rice to enjoy!
This hearty comfort soup is a twist on the Chinese classic and is a great meal to serve on winter evenings. Make it with winter melon and varieties of seafood, all flavored with marinades and seasonings, and enjoy the layers of flavors and multitude of health benefits it promises. Garnish with chives for some flair; this is a bowl of soup you’ll keep coming back to.
This South Indian dish combines white pumpkin with common Indian kitchen staples like chana dal (split chickpea lentils) and toor dal (yellow pea/pigeon pea) to produce a dish that is both flavorful and high in protein. Bold spices including heat-packed green chilies, peppery cumin seeds, mustard, and curry leaves make it taste especially divine. You can find the ingredients in your local Asian stores — this is not a dish you want to miss out on!
White pumpkin juice is a refreshing summertime treat that also promotes weight loss. Talk about killing two birds with one stone! In it, cucumber and white pumpkin are pureed in a blender until smooth, and then strained to remove the solid bits. The juice is then seasoned with salt and lemon juice, then poured over ice cubes in a glass to serve.
This light, nourishing, and hearty soup comes together in a snap! Simply prepare the meatballs with ground pork and flavorings, then add them to the rest of the soup made with winter melon, glass noodles, and seasonings. Enjoy it by itself or with a wonderful side for a satisfying meal.
This sambar recipe is so good it will make even the most discerning palates fall in love with Indian cuisine. Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list; the results it delivers are worth all the effort and then some! Serve it with some crispy poppadom or with rice to soak up all the delicious flavors.
#10. Ash Gourd Raita
Another South Indian creation, this incredibly delicious raita is super easy to make. Simply stir in grated ash gourd to whisked yogurt or curd, then add a tempering of coconut oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves, urad dal, asafetida, and chili to infuse it with mouthwatering flavors and aroma. Serve chilled on its own, over a bed of rice for a light meal, or pair it with your spicy curries!
Despite how strange it may sound, winter melon pairs beautifully with clams! Give this Korean-flavored recipe a try, you won’t regret it. Here, tender and slightly sweet winter melon contrasts wonderfully with the salty clams and is best served with a little kimchi on the side. You can also serve it with a bowl of rice for a filling meal.
This simple stir-fry dish is a classic Cantonese comfort dish. It combines the texture and flavor of tender but firm winter melon with umami-flavored shrimp and fine noodle threads doused in pork juices and seasonings to produce a tantalizing meal. Pair it with hot rice to soak up all the delicious goodness, and enjoy!
This yummy dish will make cooking on busy weeknights a breeze. Simply boil winter melon cubes with vegetable stock until they turn glassy, pulse them coarsely, then add them back to the stock along with ground pepper. Serve topped with sesame seeds and soy sauce on the side to add extra texture and flavor to the soup.