Pumpkin & Chickpea Curry Recipe
Pumpkins are loaded with beta-carotene, an important anti-oxidant. They are also a rich source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, iron & dietary fiber. Pumpkins are also thought to play a role in preventing certain cancers and heart disease.
My simple Pumpkin & Chickpea Curry is an easy & delicious addition to any meal. This dish tastes great served as a soup or simply eaten with rice & rotis. I highly recommend using the small sugar pumpkin variety for this recipe. This dish can also be made using butternut squash, acorn squash, ash gourd, winter melon or even sweet potatoes.
PUMPKIN & CHICKPEA CURRY
1 to 1½ lb sugar pumpkin (peeled, trimmed and cut into equal size cubes – you will need about 2-3 cups)
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2-3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
1½” piece of ginger, peeled & finely minced
½ tsp black mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3-4 small green Thai chilies, slit in half lengthwise (to taste)
5-6 fresh curry leaves
pinch of asafetida (hing)
½ tsp turmeric (haldi)
½ tsp red chili powder, to taste
½ tsp ground cumin powder
½ tsp kala or goda masala (or you can use garam masala)
1 tsp ground coriander powder
pinch of smoked Spanish paprika
salt & pepper, to taste
1 small can of cooked chickpeas, rinsed & drained well
1-1½ cups coconut milk
2 tbsp oil (vegetable or canola)
¼ cup toasted unsalted cashew pieces (or almonds) for garnish
freshly chopped cilantro leaves for garnish
In a large pot on medium high heat, add the pumpkin cubes along with enough water to cover. Bring to boil, cover & let simmer on low for 15-20 minutes or until fork tender. Drain well and allow the pumpkin cubes to cool. Set aside until needed.
In a large pot on medium high heat, add the oil. When hot, carefully add the black mustard seeds. When the splattering subsides, quickly add the cumin seeds along with the green chilies, curry leaves & asafetida. Let sizzle for 30 seconds or so and then add in the onion along with the garlic & ginger. Sauté until the onions are lightly browned and then add the spices (turmeric, red chili powder, ground cumin powder, kala masala, ground coriander powder, paprika, salt & pepper). Stir well and then add in the pumpkin pieces along with the chickpeas & coconut milk. Mix gently to combine all of the ingredients together. Now reduce the heat to low, cover & let simmer for just 4-5 minutes. Then remove the dish completely from the heat & allow to cool for 5 minutes. Mix carefully & garnish with the cashew pieces & freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with fresh chapatis & fragrant Basmati rice.
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