Autumn Squash Dip

Imtabbal Ari’

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey

The Gaza Kitchen

By Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt

Published 2021

  • About

In Gaza this spread or dip is made with a gourd from the pumpkin family that is not at all stringy. In terms of consistency, the closest gourd available in North America is the butternut or kabocha squash, which we have used here. Any orange-fleshed winter gourd will do.


  • 2 cups (410 grams) butternut squash, chopped into medium-sized chunks
  • ½ teaspoon salt<


Boil the squash pieces until they are tender. Strain them, then set aside to cool completely.

Meanwhile, mash the garlic and chile with salt in a mortar and pestle. Add the lemon juice and mix well, scraping in any bits of garlic from the bottom of the mortar. Reserve half of this mixture for garnish. Stir the other half into the butternut squash, mashing with a fork until smooth (you c