It's Autumn, which means that there is Pumpkin fever everywhere... I love, love, LOVE winter pumpkin & squashes. Butternut and Kabocha are my absolute faves... for their rich yet delicate flavour, plus I also like the smaller acorn or other mini types that are brilliant for making into individual casings for stuffing and roasting.
Also, it's no secret that I also love chickpeas! They're brilliant ( I use them in recipes All.The.Time...) , and I often combine them with squash in easy tray roasts to great effect. . They're natural bedfellows, with the meatiness of the chickpeas complementing the sweetness of the pumpkin. However, although I've tried out versions of a chickpea & pumpkin curry a few times for some reason, I just haven't cracked it, despite trying all kinds of spice combinations. It turned out insipid and watery (ewww), or just a bit normal and bland and bleh. Not at all what you want from a curry.
But... I think I've finally cracked it. The Gardener forwarded me an article in the Guardian (by Felicity Cloake) on how to make the perfect Chana Masala, which is a well loved chickpea curry all over India with all kinds of different recipes and variations... I then read something else about cooking squash by one of my fave chef/writers, Nigel Slater and I realised where I'd been going wrong.
I usually don't know exactly where my recipes come from, most of the time I get an idea from reading various bits, from all kinds of sources & it comes to me as I make it, but as I had tried & failed on so many occasions and Felicity Cloake's recipe references all kinds of curry experts, and she's tested them all out (yay!) using hers as a basis for my pumpkin & chickpea made sense... And boy did she not disappoint!
I didn't quite use hers to the letter ( Ermmm... nothing new there) , there was a lack of coriander available... and I sort of missed out adding spices at one point, plus decided that a squirt of tomato paste would be a good idea..
Also- I added pumpkin/squash, to satisfy my Autumnal craving ... but the real revelation here was roasting the squash instead of adding cubes of it directly to the curry to cook. This meant that the flavours concentrated & intensified, which when added to the curry added to the flavour profile. Not watery or bland. Hurrah!
Added bonus to roasting the squash? I roasted a whole one which was double what I needed, meaning that I could rustle up a pasta or gutsy salad the next day with next to no effort! Super Organised Cooking Win!
Autumn Squash & Chickpea Curry
For accuracy, I measure all ingredients in metric as standard, then convert and test the recipe for American cup measurements etc.
(Heads up Aussie and UK readers- your measurements in cups are sometimes different, so please use metric or check you have the correct cup and spoon type!!)
- 1 400 g chickpeas cooked. (( This is either 1 tin, or 200g dried that has been cooked!))
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 large onion (, finely chopped)
- 6 garlic cloves
- 25 g root ginger
- 30 g fresh coriander seeds
- 2-4 green chillies (, chopped roughly)
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1-2 teaspoon chilli powder
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 400 g tin of plum tomatoes (, sort of squashed up in the tin with a knife)
- 1 Tbs tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garam masala (( Or other masala mix- I used a really great organic madras mix))
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ½ butternut squash- cut into pieces.
- Put the cut up squash into a roasting tin, slick with olive oil & a sprinkle of salt & pop in the oven.
- Meanwhile, pop the drained chickpeas in a pan (assuming you're using tinned) and add half a cup of water Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes then drain, making sure to reserve a bit of the cooking water. (thank YOU Felicity for this amazing tip- it makes a huge difference to the end texture of the dish).
- In a mortar & pestle or stick blender to blend the garlic, ginger, coriander & chilli into a paste...
- Then, heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion & cumin seeds and cook until the onion is softened & the cumin is popping & aromatic.
- Add the paste of garlic, ginger, coriander & chilli paste & add it into the pan, cooking it for few minutes. Add in the chilli powder and turmeric & stir...
- Then, stir in the squished up tomatoes, chickpeas and their cooking water and a pinch of salt. Add the roasted pumpkin in too. Bring this all to a bit of a simmer and let it thicken. This might take 15- 20 mins...
- Stir in the garam masala, and the lemon juice, plus taste for salt & add a little if needed...
Miranda | Miranda's Notebook says
Hopped over to look at your blog from the London Bloggers' Network facebook page. This recipe looks amazing!! I love anything with pumpkin in it too 🙂 xxx
Hey Miranda! Thank you for coming to see me! I'm quite excited about the London Bloggers Network too 🙂 Pumpkin is great- I have another one here just waiting to be used up into something... xxx Louise
Kanika Kapoor says
gonna make it today. the 3 stars are for neglecting to mention in the recipe steps as to when to add the pumpkin darling!
Louise-Claire Cayzer says
THanks for the heads up. Will add in where to put the pumpkin.
Disappointed! Made recipe and even added an extra half teaspoon of cumin powder with turmeric and chilli powder, but it only lasted of tomatoes followed by the heat of the chilli coming through. Not any real curry flavour? Luckily had some Madras paste and added this and turned out ok. And as mentioned in one of the other comments, had it a second time with spinach wilted into. Textures we were good but don't know what happened with the original recipe
Louise-Claire Cayzer says
I'm sorry the recipe didn't' work out for you.
Can I just check that you added the extra teaspoon of garam masala in at the end as in the recipe? That really makes a world of difference.
I note you added in some curry paste at the end, which I'm not sure was in addition to the stipulated garam masala?
Either way I'm planning on re-shooting this recipe soon (it's quite an old one of mine) so I'll do a taste check and update if necessary.