This is a delicious main or side dish for the holidays. It can be made a day or two ahead and is great leftover!


1 local pumpkin (about 10 to 12 lbs. of meat)
2 cinnamon sticks
2 whole (not powdered) dried chile de árbol (optional)
8 cloves
4 black cardamom pods, crushed with a knife blade
10 green cardamom pods, crushed with a knife blade
5 oz. of ginger
2 oz. of garlic
8 oz. onion
2 teaspoons turmeric powder
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, whole
2 bay leaves
4 tablespoons garam masala powder
3 cans whole coconut milk
Honey to taste
Salt to taste
Coconut oil


Split pumpkin in half or quarters and bake on a cookie tray lined with wax paper in a 350° degree oven until soft. Take out the seeds and scoop the pulp out with a spoon. Put cinnamon sticks, chile de árbol, cloves, black and green cardamom in into a small bowl. Peel and finely chop ginger, garlic and onion.

Put a large stainless steel saucepan or casserole over medium heat. Add a generous helping of coconut oil and allow it to heat up almost until smoking point. Lower the heat and add the small bowl of spices. Stir quickly until the aroma from the spices is noticeable, allowing for the oil to get impregnated with the flavors. Scoop the spices out, place them in a cheesecloth, and tie with a string.

Add the ginger and garlic. Stir on medium heat until they turn golden. Add the onions and stir until golden. Add the remaining spices (turmeric, cumin, bay leaves and garam masala) and stir quickly to release the aroma, about 15 seconds.

Add the pumpkin pulp and stir to cover with the spices. Pour in the coconut milk. Add the cheesecloth with the reserved spices to the pot. Add salt and honey to taste. The amount of honey depends on the sweetness of the pumpkin, so go with your taste! It should be balanced, not too sweet or too spicy. Cover and allow to simmer over very low heat for 20 minutes, stirring constantly to prevent burning at the bottom. Pull out the cheesecloth with the spices and serve.

Linda Illsley was born in Mexico. She arrived in Durango in 2000, where she operated her restaurant, Cocina Linda, until 2015. A journey of self-growth led her to Rob Williams and becoming a PSYCH-K® facilitator. Linda now works as part of a healing team with PSYCH-K® facilitator Tyler Wheelock and Dr. Ehrin Parker. Visit or reach her at 970.903.0797.