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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It began with posting a few recipes on line for my family. "zsuzsa is in the kitchen" has more than 1000 Hungarian and International recipes. What started out as a private project turned into a well visited blog. The number of visitors long passed the two million mark. I organized my recipes into an on-line cookbook. On top of the page click on the cookbook to access the recipes. I am not profiting from my blog, so my visitors will not be harassed with advertising or flashy gadgets. Feel free to cut and paste my recipes for your own use. Publication is permitted as long as it is in your own words and with your own photographs. However, I would ask you for an acknowledgement and link-back to my blog. Happy cooking!