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I looked for tök for a long time. The funny thing is I never liked tök as a kid, but for the last several summers, I searched for it and dreamed of cooking up a pot of Hungarian tökfőzelék. I even tried making it from spaghetti squash, but it wasn’t the same. Then at the beginning of summer, I found a segment of what looked like part of a very large gourd. There was no sign to indicate what it could be and I thought I had nothing to loose, I took it home and cooked it up as if it was tök

Tök segment on a dinner plate. It had to have been a huge gourd.

As it turned out it was. On the first day of the tök we ate it with fasírt. Jim said “Hmm. I remember this. We ate this all the time” After 48 years, I know exactly what he means, “Don’t ever make it again!” Then for the next two days I made something else for him and I had a bowl of tökfőzelék. Yum.


Tök is part of the gourd family, but no, it is not a zucchini. Tök has tough flesh while the flesh of the zucchini, especially in such large size would be very, very soft. I remember it as an elongated melon looking thing with thick yellow outer skin [mine was dark green] and like a pumpkin; on the inside is a mess of fibrous, slimy pulp with seeds. We used to slice the tök on a large wooden mandolin, but in later years, we would by it at the green grocer already sliced with a bunch of dill in the bag.  The one thing I recalled is that tökfőzelék had a heavy dill flavour. Oh yes I must not forget, you need fresh dill with lots of full fat sour cream for your tök. Haha. If you know what I just said... well... haha.

Dilled Gourd Stew - Kapros Tökfőzelék

500g fresh gourd, 4-5 cups sliced
1 small onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
salt to taste
1/8 cup sugar
1 pkg fresh dill weed
1 cup milk
2 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup sour cream
wine vinegar to taste

  • If you have a whole gouard it will be easier to handle it if you chop it crosswise into segments. Next cut segments in the opposite direction. I already had a segment so I just chopped it into smaller pieces. Scoop out the pulp and seeds and discard.
  • Peel off all outer skin and rinse.
  • If you have a mandolin or a french fry chopper slice or chop the gourd. Otherwise, chop it up like I did, using a chef’s knife.
For some reason my cookbook advised me to salt it and let it sit for a while to draw the moisture out. I was in a hurry and didn’t do that. As it turned out it would have been a superfluous exercise.

  • Next, finely dice the onion.
  • Place the oil in a larger pot and add the onion.
  • Sprinkle with salt and sauté the onion on medium low heat until very soft.
  • Meanwhile chop the dill and set it aside.
  • Stir in the sugar and 1 tsp of wine vinegar.
  • Add the sliced gourd and the milk to the pot and sauté for a 3-4 minutes. 
  • Reduce heat and place the lid on the pot and slowly simmer for 5 minutes or until the gourd is tender. Check the pot often; give it a stir so it won’t burn. If the gourd needs more milk just add more. You are cooking a stew it should not get dry.  
  • In a smaller bowl, combine the flour with the sour cream.
  • Using a fine sieve force the sour cream mixture into the pot and stir.
  • Taste and adjust the salt.
  • Add the chopped dill and stir.
  • Finally, season the gourd with a little wine vinegar. Start with a teaspoon, taste and if you deem necessary add a bit more. But do it very gradually.
  • Serve tökfőzelék with a large dollop of sour cream.



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