The sight of pumpkins on the market shelves always fills me with a little excitement, which I think is because they’re very much a seasonal thing and we only ever see them in the autumn. I become a bit like a squirrel when they appear and, much to the annoyance of my family, I start hoarding them like there’s an impending apocalypse. I fill the house with them, adding to my collection almost every time I go out. Hey kids, look what I got today! They usually start making sarcastic comments when they find themselves stepping around them as they come in through the front door as if they were landmines. It’s a problem, I know, but I just can’t help myself. I do start chopping them up at some point and freezing them, either cooked or raw, for consumption throughout the year.
This recipe uses diced pumpkin in conjunction with orange juice and just a small amount of spices to augment the flavour of the vegetables.
Prep time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes.
1 small pumpkin, about 1kg in weight
1 tbsp coconut oil, plus extra as needed
150g frozen whole green beans
100g sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 ½ tbsp hot madras curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp dairy-free yoghurt
1 tbsp tahini
Juice of 1 orange
150ml dairy-free cream
The seeds from 1 pomegranate (optional)
A few coriander leaves to garnish.
To prepare the pumpkin, first cut the stalk off to create a flat end. Turn the pumpkin onto this end for safety and then cut in half down the middle. Cut those halves in half again to create four quarters. Use a desert spoon to scoop out the seeds and then peel the pumpkin quarters with the knife, making sure you keep the pumpkin on a flat surface. Cut each peeled quarter into three strips and then dice them.
Heat the coconut oil in a non-stick pan and cook the diced pumpkin for 20 minutes on a medium to low heat, stirring occasionally. The pumpkin will soak up the oil so you may need to add a little more part way through the cooking. When the pumpkin is soft most of the way through add the green beans and mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and cook for another minute and then add the spices, the ginger paste, salt, yoghurt and tahini. Allow that to fry for a couple of minutes and then add the orange juice. Stir for a minute more and then pour in the cream. Cook the curry for a few more minutes until you have a thick sauce and the pumpkin is soft all the way through. Turn off the heat and stir in the pomegranate seeds, if using. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve with basmati rice.