Recipe: Pumpkin and Chickpea Coconut Curry


Roasting the pumpkin first makes this curry flavourful and naturally sweet. Like many curries, this one tastes better the next day.

Recipe and photos: Elien Lewis

INGREDIENTS

½ cup coconut oil, melted
500g peeled and cubed pumpkin
3 cloves garlic
4cm fresh ginger
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1½ teaspoons coriander seeds
6 cardamom pods (husks removed, seeds only)
½ teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup desiccated coconut
1 large brown onion, peeled and finely diced
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
500ml vegetable stock
½ tablespoon lemon juice
400ml coconut milk
salt, to taste
fresh coriander leaves, black rice to serve

METHOD

Heat the oven to 180°C. Spread the pumpkin cubes on an oven tray and drizzle with 2 tablespoons coconut oil. Sprinkle with salt and bake for 25 minutes, or until pumpkin is tender and slightly caramelized around the edges.

While the pumpkin is cooking, start on the curry paste. Using a mortar and pestle, pound the cumin seeds, coriander seeds and cardamom seeds. Transfer to a pan set over medium heat and toast for 3 to 4 minutes, or until fragrant.

Transfer the seeds to a blender, then add the turmeric, chilli, garam masala, ginger, garlic, desiccated coconut and tomato paste. Blitz to a paste (add 2 tablespoons coconut oil to help — it should be as smooth as possible).

Set a large pot over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons more of coconut oil. Add the onion and sauté gently until translucent and starting to caramelize. Add a little more oil and the curry paste. Lower the heat and cook the curry paste for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more oil if it starts to stick on the bottom.

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Add the chickpeas and cook for a further minute, then pour in the stock, coconut milk and lemon juice. Simmer for 25 to 30 minutes, until the sauce has reduced by half. Season with salt to taste. Add the roasted pumpkin and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Taste for seasoning and serve garnished with fresh coriander, steamed rice or naan bread. Serves 4


This is an extract from our new special edition, Sustainability Through the Seasons. This special edition practical guide to living a greener and more environmentally friendly life 365 days of the year. It is packed with self-sufficiency tips on seasonal gardening, low-waste living, garden-to-table cooking, sewing and mending, bread-making and crochet and knitting.

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