Friday 7 November 2014

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry

Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu!

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Guys, I am so sorry for not posting a single recipe this week until today.

 I had so many recipes ready to share but the days here are becoming shorter (although they have produced a few awesome sunrises), and time just flies by. 

Alhamdulillah, I have time now, so here we go!
The original name for this Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry was Butternut Squash and Chickpea Stew. 

I've never really liked the word 'stew'. It always makes me think of overcooked meat and vegetables, and of my first experience of tasting a Lancashire hotpot. I was about nine or ten, and I hated it. It had this intense lamb flavour, and very little spice. I'm sure that if I cooked it now, I would enjoy it. It's funny how our taste for food evolves as we get older. Plus as someone who was born and raised in Lancashire (now Greater Manchester), I kind of owe it to this great county of mine.
This curry/stew is nothing like the stews of my past. First, it's vegetarian and packed full with flavour and plenty of spice. It is perfect for autumn and winter - for starters, just look at that colour. It warms you up just to look at it. 

Butternut Squash, previously: Roasted Vegetable SoupSpicy Harissa Drumstick BakeEid-ul-Adha, Homemade Fish Fingers and a Shortbread Recipe.

Chickpeas, previously: Spicy Chickpea SaladFalafelSamosa PlateMoroccan Lamb Burger WrapsTandoori Chicken, Hummus Platters and Meringue Cakes.

A Simple List of Ingredients:

1. Butternut Squash
2. Olive Oil
3. Salt and Pepper
4. Onions
5. Garlic
6. Fresh Coriander
7. Ground Cumin
8. Paprika
9. Carrots
10. Chickpeas
11. Tinned Tomatoes
12. Harissa Paste

Bismillah, let's begin!

First, gather together your ingredients. I feel this always makes cooking much easier. Otherwise you'll be rummaging through the cupboards looking for tinned tomatoes and chickpeas while your onions burn on the cooker.
At least, that's what always happens to me!

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees C or Gas Mark 4. 
Roughly chop the 1 medium Butternut Squash, keeping the pieces quite big but an equal size.
Put the squash in a single layer on a lined oven tray.

Toss with 1 and 1/2 tablespoon Olive Oil along with Salt and Pepper, to taste.
Roast in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes until the flesh is soft and golden brown.

Whilst the squash roasts, heat 1 and 1/2 tablespoons Olive Oil in a large, deep saucepan over a medium heat.

Peel and slice 2 Onions.

Once the oil is hot, throw in the onions.

Sprinkle in a pinch of Salt and Pepper.

Cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly golden brown.

Take 8 (yes, 8) Garlic Cloves. Peel and finely chop them.

Then, add in the chopped garlic.

Stir in and cook for 3 minutes. If you feel the pan is too dry, don't be afraid to drizzle in a little more oil.

Next, sprinkle in 1 and 1/2 teaspoons Ground Cumin and 1 teaspoon Paprika.

And, add 1/4 cup (a small handful) Coriander Stalks, finely chopped.
Stir and cook for 1 minute.

Peel and slice 3 medium Carrots.

Then, add in the chopped carrots.

And, pour in 1 cup (250ml) Water.

Bring to the boil.

Simmer, covered, on a low heat for 10-12 minutes.

Then, take a 400g can Chickpeas. Drain, rinse and add them in.

Take a 400g can Tomatoes. Blend them up and pour in too.

Stir together and bring to the boil again. Simmer, covered, on low heat for another 10-12 minutes.

Oh look, the butternut squash is done. The flesh is soft and slightly golden brown.
Once it's cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and give it a rough chop.

Once the curry has done its simmering, uncover it.

Add in any Cooked Chicken that you have. This is completely optional and it just shows how much I love chicken and can't resist throwing it into a curry which I'm trying to keep vegetarian.

Add in the chunks of roasted squash.

Add 3 teaspoons Harissa Paste. This is available in most supermarkets  but you can also get it online or make your own.
If you feel the curry is getting too thick, add a splash more water.

Finally, in goes a good handful of Fresh Coriander, chopped.
And, Salt and Pepper, to taste.
Give everything a final stir and let it bubble for 3 minutes before serving!

Sprinkle over a little more fresh coriander and serve. Eat it on its own or with boiled rice or couscous.

Full Written Recipe:

Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry

Adapted from Martha Stewart


For the Butternut Squash
1 medium Butternut Squash, not peeled but roughly chopped
1 and ½  tablespoons Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste

For the Curry
1 and ½ tablespoons Olive Oil
2 medium Onions, peeled and chopped
8 Garlic Cloves, peeled and finely chopped
¼ cup (small handful) Fresh Coriander Stalks, finely chopped
1 and ½ teaspoon Ground Cumin
1 teaspoon Paprika
3 medium Carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
Water, as needed
1 can (400g) Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 can (400g) Tomatoes, blended
3 teaspoons Harissa Paste
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Handful Fresh Coriander, chopped


To roast the butternut squash, preheat the oven to 190 degrees C or Gas Mark 4.
Toss the squash with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Place in a single layer on a lined baking tray. Bake for 45-50 minutes until the flesh is soft and golden brown.

For the curry, heat the oil on a medium heat in a large, deep saucepan. Add the onions and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3-4 minutes until light golden brown.
Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for 3 minutes.

Add the ground cumin, paprika and coriander stems. Cook for another minute.
Add the carrots along with 1 cup (250ml) water. Bring to the boil. Then, simmer, covered, over a low heat for 10-12 minutes.

Next, add in the tomatoes and chickpeas. Bring to the boil again, and simmer again for 10 minutes.

Once the squash is ready, scoop out the flesh and give it a rough chop. Add to the curry along with salt, pepper, harissa paste and the fresh coriander.

Stir and cook for 3 minutes. Serve, sprinkled with more fresh coriander, with boiled rice or couscous. 

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