Saturday, 8 January 2011

Pumpkin and Bechamel Pudding قرعة بالبشامل

Stewed pumpkin topped with bechamel is a surprisingly addicitive combination. It is a dessert that is well-loved in Egypt and Eastern Libya. While pumpkin is almost a staple vegetable in Libyan cuisine, it is mostly used in savoury dishes, such as couscous, lamb stew or steamed pasta. This pumpkin pie is one of the few exceptions. The Egyptian version of the pudding includes a sprinkling of raisins and nuts between the layer of pumpkin and bechamel, and these can be easily added to this East Libyan recipe.  Pumpkin with bechamel is easy to make, and is delicious served either hot or cold.

Serves 6

1/2 kilo pumpkin
100g butter (melted)
100g flour
2 cups sugar
2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar or 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Stick of cinnamon (optional)
2 eggs

Cut pumpkin into squares and place in a pan with 1 cup of sugar and just enough water to cover, and the cinnamon stick if using. Cook on low heat until pumpkin is tender.

Remove the pumpkin, leaving about 2 cups of liquid in the pan. 
Add the flour to the liquid.

Add 1 cup of sugar and 2 cups of milk while whisking.

Add the eggs and the vanilla and stir until smooth.

To inrtensify the sweet bechamel's pumpkin flavor, add a few pieces of pumpkin and mash. Pour in the melted butter  and give one final stir.

Mash the rest of the pumpkin squares with a fork roughly.

Spread less than a third of the pumpkin bechamel in an oven-proof dish, add mashed pumpkin on top, and then cover with the rest of the pumpkin bechamel. 

Place in the oven until surface becomes golden. Serve hot or cold.


  1. Asalam Alaykum this looks so GOOD mashAllah. I just love your site so much. You should join us in a new foodie cooking forum we have inshAllah.

  2. Ciao! I have received a link to your blog from Alepine (Paris-Alep cuisine syrienne). I'd like to invite you to participate in Mediterranea, a page about Mediterranaean cuisine. This is the url to take a look if you want: Sorry to use your comment space but I didn't find an e-mail :-)
    Ciao! Antonella

  3. Salam,
    Thank you for the comments! I'd be honored to join the Ya Salam forum, Noor, it looks great :) and thanks so much for the invitation, Antonella! I would love to contribute some Libyan recipes.

  4. not sure how else to contact you, so thought I would leave a comment here... may I request a recipe for slata meshwiya (did I spell it correctly?).

    keep up the good work!

  5. Absolutely, I welcome requests :) I'll try to post the recipe as soon as possible. Thank you for your interest in the blog!

  6. I tried the recipe and loved it :) thanks for sharing
    I put a link of your post on my blog (

  7. I first saw this recipe in Marlene Mattar's cookbook (in Arabic, Maedat marlene); I was so intrigued by it and made an attempt to make it last year I was planning to make it again this year for Thanksgiving; so exciting to finally find out the origin of this dessert.