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I love hearty winter curries, especially ones made with winter squash and chickpeas; here’s a simple one to keep you warm. While I was over for a conference call at Pierre‘s last week, he made roasted pumpkin with braised chickpeas as we chatted. It was the perfect lunch on the first day of deep snow – the kind that soaked the bottom six inches of your jeans and made your socks wet when you took your boots off.

Pierre and Candace were winging it and added butter chicken paste; feel free to use whatever blend you like, and enough to suit your taste.

Pierre’s Roasted Pumpkin with Braised Chickpeas

1 small pumpkin, quartered, seeded and roasted (or use butternut squash)

3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. curry paste
2 onions, diced
3 pork or chicken sausages, squeezed from the casing
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, drained
1 19 oz (540 mL) can tomato puree
2 cups chicken stock or water

thick yogurt or sour cream and/or chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 350?F. To roast your pumpkin, clean out the seeds and stringy innards, spread out in a shallow baking dish or roasting pan, drizzle with oil and roast for 45 minutes, or until soft and golden on top.

Get a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Add the butter and sauté the onion with the curry paste. Sauté until the onions are caramelized. Add the sausage and break the meat up with a spoon as it cooks. Add the garlic, chickpeas, tomato purée and stock. Bring it all to a boil and simmer until the sauce reduces, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile scoop out the soft pumpkin meat and get rid of the tough skin. Break up the meat into pieces and plop it into the stewing beans.

When the sauce is nice and thick, it’s almost ready to serve. Add salt to taste and then get a big bowl out for serving. Scoop a big old steamy pile into the bowl and top it with a creamy dollop of sour cream or thick yogurt and sprinkle with finely chopped cilantro. Serves 4-6.

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