One of the foods I miss most from back home in Australia is pumpkin. Here in London, pumpkin is only really prevelant around Halloween and for the rest of the year, its brother fruit, the butternut squash fills supermarket shelves, soup cartons and risottos.
But sweet and soft; delicious baked, mashed or steamed, this versatile member of the squash family is perfect for lovely, crisp autumnal weather.
A few days after discussing this anti-pumpkin phenomenon with my British housemate (who agreed she never really ate the stuff), she went to Borough Market and came back with a huge wedge of bright orange pumpkin for me! I was stoked. The other night I used some of the pumpkin to create a curry with whatever ingredients I could find in my pantry. Here’s what I came up with…
Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry
300g pumpkin, cut into 5cm pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped roughly
1 small red chilli, chopped finely
420g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
400g tinned tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato paste
250ml vegetable stock
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
50g baby spinach leaves
Pepper to season
1. Boil pumpkin for 5-8 minutes until starting to soften – do not cook completely. Drain and set aside.
2. Heat oil in large pan, add onion and fry until starting to brown.
3. Add chilli and fry for further 3-4 minutes.
4. Add chickpeas, fry for 2-3 minutes then add tinned tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring well.
5. Reduce to a low heat, add pumpkin and spices, then simmer for 10 minutes, gradually adding vegetable stock and stirring frequently.
6. Stir through baby spinach until wilted then season with pepper and serve.
Serve over rice or with naan bread.