Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry

After an extended hiatus (only from the blog realm - I've still been in the kitchen), The EmT Plate is back with a recipe made just for cool fall evenings...pumpkin curry!

This recipe grew out of the need to use up some of the various gourds we've been getting in the CSA share this fall before another batch came in. It can be made with one or more varieties of pumpkin and/or winter squash - for the one I made, I used a pumpkin and a butternut squash, with some crookneck squash thrown in as well. If you are planning ahead, roast the squash the night before you make the curry - it will reduce cooking time for the curry overall.

Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry (~ 6 servings)
1-2 small to medium winter squashes (pumpkin, butternut, acorn, etc.)

Cut the squash(es) in half and roast on a large baking sheet, cut side up, at 400F for about 20 minutes. You should be able to pierce the flesh with a fork, but it will still be somewhat firm (and if it is really soft, just scoop it out and use it anyway!). Allow to cool, then peel and cut into ~ 1/2 - 1" chunks.

1 T. ghee or oil
1 T. Bengali five spices (panch-phoran)*
1 medium onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 hot peppers (jalapeno, etc.), or to taste
1 T. ginger puree or minced fresh ginger
1 T. tumeric
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
salt and pepper, to taste
water, as needed
1 cup (~ 1/2 can) cooked chickpeas
1/2 cup almond milk

Heat ghee in a large pot over medium heat. When it melts, add Bengali five spices and allow to simmer for 30-60 seconds. Add diced onions, garlic, and hot peppers and cook about 2-3 minutes, until the onions just begin to turn clear. Add squash, ginger, tumeric, cumin, and coriander. Stir together and continue simmering, stirring regularly and adding water as needed, until squash is tender (and your kitchen smells like an Indian restaurant), about 20-30 minutes. Add the chickpeas and almond milk and continue simmering, about 5-10 minutes.

Serve over rice (for a Halloween-y look, over black rice, as shown below, or wild rice) - and top with mango chutney.

* If you can't find panch-phoran at your local supermarket or Indian grocery, you can make your own by mixing equal parts cumin, fennel, black mustard, kalonji, and fenugreek seeds.