Tender Chickpeas gently simmered in a beautifully fragrant pumpkin broth. The perfect recipe to warm the cockles of your heart in the cold weather.
Happy Halloween to all of you albeit a day in advance. And of course Happy Diwali!!! Multiple festivals occurring at the same time call for a big celebration and by extension a ton of food.. RIGHT!!! (LAUGHS!!). I must say this unique occurrence called for a unique meal.. Which meant a main course of a Pumpkin Chickpea Curry followed by traditional Diwali sweets for dessert. If that doesn’t get your mouth watering then I don’t know what will???
Diwali, also called as the festival of lights is the biggest and brightest festival in India. To say it simply, you light up your entire house, buy new clothes, start new projects on this auspicious day, shoot off fireworks and most importantly eat lots and lots of food. Its 5 days of non-stop fun. In a country as diverse as India this is one festival which is celebrated with gusto by almost everybody.
This year it just so happens that Diwali began a couple of days before Halloween. This actually put me in a little bit of bind as to what recipe to make for the blog; Diwali snacks or a halloween inspired dish. Then I remembered my mom was going to send me a care package full of treats I could enjoy for Diwali and my decision was made. I was going to scare myself a bit by using the most popular Halloween ingredient “PUMPKIN” in a recipe (LAUGHS!!!). I decided to use pumpkin in the easiest possible way I could think of i.e. in a curry. More specifically this version of “chana masala” which is spicy, tangy chickpea curry.
I made a less spicy, slightly sweeter “PUMPKIN CHICKPEA CURRY by adding pumpkin puree which tones down the tanginess of this dish and gives it a whole new flavor.
I try to make everything from scratch so let’s begin with the homemade pumpkin puree.
Slit the pumpkin in half and remove seeds with a spoon. Carefully peel the hard skin off and then cut the pumpkin into 1 inch pieces. Throw the chunks in the boiling water and cook till tender. Once cooked drain the water and let it cool. Add the pumpkin to a food processor and pulse until smooth. Use a little water if needed.
Soak chickpea in sufficient water overnight. Cook them in a pressure cooker until they are soft and tender. Cool. Heat oil in a large pot. Add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and roast until fragrant. Add onion and saute till transluscent. Add in ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell vanishes. Mix in all the dry spice powders: fennel powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric and stir well till the spices are cooked through. Drizzle in a splash of water if needed to prevent the spices from burning. Ladle in tomato puree, pumpkin puree and bring to a simmer. Now add chickpea and stir until fully combined.
Pour a cup of water, tamarind water and mix well. Bring to a boil. Season with salt. Lower the heat, cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
Ladle hot curry into a bowl and serve with roti, naan or rice. I was in the mood for puris which are soft, fluffy breads that can be used to scoop up the goodness in the curry.
After eating such a sumptuous meal its time for dessert.. RIGHT!!!! So I am off to chow down on those DIWALI sweets that MOM sent me… I will see all of y’all next week when I will be about 20 lbs heavier… (LAUGHS!!!)
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- 1 cup Chickpea
- 1 Small Onion chopped
- 1 cup Tomato Puree
- 2 cup Pumpkin Puree
- 2 tsp Ginger Garlic Paste
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 2 Cinnamon Sticks
- 6 Cloves
- 1 tsp Fennel Powder
- 1½ tsp Coriander Powder
- 1 tsp Red Chili Powder
- ¾ tsp Turmeric Powder
- 1½ tbsp Tamarind Water
- 1 cup Water
- Salt as per taste
- Soak chickpea in sufficient water overnight. Cook the pea until they are soft and tender, allow it to cool. Drain the water.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Slit the pumpkin in half. Remove seeds with a spoon. Slice halves into quarters. Carefully peel the hard skin off. Cube into 1 inch pieces. Throw the chunks in the boiling water and cook till tender.
- Once cooked drain the water and let it cool. Add the pumpkin to a food processor add a little water if required. Pulse until smooth
- Heat oil in a large pot, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cloves and roast until fragrant. Add onion and saute, add ginger garlic paste and cook for a minute.
- Add fennel powder, coriander powder, red chili powder, turmeric and stir well till the spices are cooked through. Add a splash of water if needed to prevent burning.
- Stir in tomato puree, pumpkin puree and bring to a simmer.
- Now add chickpea and stir until fully combined. Pour a cup of water, tamarind water and mix well. Bring to a boil. Add some salt, to taste. Lower the heat, cover with lid and simmer for 10 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
- Ladle hot curry into a bowl and serve with puri.