As mentioned in my last post, my attempts to get into the kitchen in India weren’t quite as fruitful as expected, but I did manage to get some scribblings down.
My cousin and his wife will make two to three curries a day, and will usually start with the same simple base. This recipe is a simple use of that curry base, using what I had in stock: pumpkin (as Halloween had just past – Tristan had actually bought me a pumpkin he was going to carve as a welcome back present, but that never quite happened so I ended up just cooking it!), chickpeas and spinach. Initially I wasn’t going to add spinach but had some that needed used so threw it in.
You can replace the pumpkin for squash, sweet potato or good old regular potato. If so, just adjust the parboiling accordingly. Pumpkin and sweet potato generally take less time than squash or potatoes. Use a fork to test after 5 minutes or so.
This reipe also uses blended onion, which I don’t usually do, but which is very common in Indian sauces and bases.
Apologies for their not being photos throughout – I get easily distracted and carried away whilst cooking and forget that I should really document it more! It’s not a complex recipe so it should be easy enough to follow.
Pumpkin and chickpea curry
- 1 small pumpkin*
- 1 tin of chickpeas
- 1/2 bag of spinach (approx 100g)
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/2 inch of ginger
- 1 tbsp cumin seeds
- 3 tomatoes
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tsp coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- Fresh coriander, to garnish
Cut the pumpkin into small chunks (approx 2-3cm). My method is to cut the whole thing into large wedges, remove the seeds and fleshy bit and then slice along the inside of the skin. From there you can cut it into chunks. Try and cut off all the fleshy bits so you have just solid pumpkin. Leave to the side.
Using a food processor or blender blend the cumin seeds, ginger and garlic til they form a sort of paste. Transfer to a bowl.
Then blend just the onions. No need to wash the blender between as the ingredients will all meet eventually, but do make sure you blend them separately. Transfer these to another bowl.
Finally blend the tomatoes until they turn into liquid.
Parboil the pumpkin for five minutes over a medium heat.
Meanwhile heat the oil and cook the spice paste that you first blended for 3-4 minutes. Then add the blended onions and cook until soft. Then add the blended tomatoes and dry spices and stir. Simmer for 10 minutes.
Add the pumpkin and chickpeas. Stir and simmer until the pumpkin is cooked and the flavours are enfused. If using spinach add this at the end and simmer until the leaves wilt. Remove from the heat. Garnish with coriander and serve with rice or bread. I served it here with my lemon pickle plus pitta bread as I didn’t have any chapatis (I couldn’t be bothered making any!)
*I always keep the pumpkin seeds to use in salads. Remove all the flesh and then boil them in salt water then toast them in the oven, leaving the skins on. Alternatively you can remove the skins and toast them, but this is extra effort, and by boiling them in salt water the flavour will permeate the skin.
What are your favourites curries? Let me know and I will share some more recipes!