Nigel Slater’s Chickpeas with Pumpkin, Lemongrass, and Coriander

This week’s recipe is based on one from Nigel Slater’s amazing book Tender: Vol. 1, which is an invaluable veg box companion. It is deeply invested in making the most of seasonal and local produce, just as we at Locavore are. This recipe uses a pumpkin, but Nigel (we’re on first name terms now, I’ve decided) says that any winter squash works well, so we think it’ll be a great use for the bon bon squash in this week’s veg boxes, or the acorn squash in next weeks’. Squash season sure is a wonderful time of the year!

Nigel uses dried chickpeas in the recipe, and you can get these from the Locavore shop on Victoria Road, or substitute our tinned chickpeas if you need a quick dinner. Alternatively, why not use dried or tinned UK grown carlin peas or fava beans to cut down on air miles? Make sure to use our award winning Locavore coconut milk to give this dish its brilliant richness.

This recipe is suitable for vegans and vegetarians, and is delicious served over basmati rice with lime to squeeze over the bowl. If you give this recipe a go, let us know what you think and send us a photo!

Ingredients- serves 4-6

200g dried chickpeas, soaked in water for several hours
2 medium onions
2 tablespoons (plus a little more later) groundnut oil (or another flavourless oil)
4 cloves garlic
a thumb-sized piece of ginger
3 large stalks lemongrass
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons ground tumeric
6 green cardamom pods
2 hot red chillies
500g pumpkin or squash, peeled and seeded (about 1kg unprepared weight)
250ml vegetable stock
400ml coconut milk
yellow mustard seeds
1 handful coriander leaves

Drain the chickpeas, and boil in lots of unsalted water. Simmer until tender (about 40 mins)

Peel and finely chop the onions. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot such as a casserole dish, and fry the onions until soft and translucent.

Peel the ginger and garlic, remove tough leaves from the lemongrass, and then use a food processor or pestle and mortar to turn them into a rough paste.

Over a low heat, stir the paste into the softened onions and continue to cook. Add the ground spices. Gently crush the cardomom pods and finely chop the chilli and add these to the pot. Carefully watch the ingredients, making sure they do not brown.

Chop the pumpkin into bite-size chunks, and add these, the drained chickpeas (or carlin peas or fava beans), and the stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer until the pumpkin or squash is fork-tender, but not yet collapsing.

Add the coconut milk, stirring, and continue to simmer. Meanwhile, heat a little oil in a frying pan and toast the mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop, add them to the squash mixture. Finally, add the coriander leaves

Serve over basmati rice with a squeeze of lime.