After the kids carved the pumpkins I wanted to make the most of the amazing flesh so decided to make my vegetarian and vegan pumpkin curry for dinner on Halloween night. Cooking it for a long time really develops the flavour and texture, giving it that real Indian restaurant richness and thick consistency. The pumpkin was soft and dissolved in the mouth without that squidgy sliminess it can have when it's undercooked.
Ted (8) and Flora (10) carved the pumpkins themselves; Flora cleverly pointed out that they came out looking like Eric Idle and Robbie Coltrane in 'Nuns On the Run'.
Preparation time 20 minutes.
Cooking time; 5 hours.
3 medium onions
2 tins chopped tomatoes
200g (a tube) of tomato puree
3 heaped teaspoons whole coriander seed (you can use ready-ground if you don't have a spice grinder but the flavour is definitely better if you grind the spices yourself.)
3 heaped teaspoons whole (or ground) cumin seed
3 heaped teaspoons ground turmeric
Chilli to taste (not shown, I used 8 small dried red birdseye chillis which made it quite hot.)
Garlic (I have made it without but it would be delicious with; add half a teaspoon of granules or two crushed and chopped cloves with the spices if you like.)
Small handful of fresh coriander for garnish
Vegetable stock cube
Half teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons vegetable oil
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Step 1: Chop the Onions
Chop the onions into small pieces.
Step 2: Fry the Onions
Add 6 tablespoons of vegetable to pan, fry the onions on a medium heat until brown.
Step 3: Grind and Add the Spices
Grind the whole spices. I use a dedicated coffee grinder which is a lot easier than a pestle and mortar! Add all the spices to the pan and fry for another 3 minutes on a low heat. Take care not to burn.
Step 4: Add Two Tins of Chopped Tomatoes and the Tomato Puree
Add the tins of chopped tomatoes and 200g of tomato puree, stir.
Step 5: Add the Stock
Add the stock cube to a small amount of boiling water and dissolve with a fork. Add to the pot.
Step 6: Put in the Oven
Cook for 3 hours at 150 degrees in a pan with a lid. I used the Aga which is currently on a low setting. Stir a few times to check its not sticking or burning. Add a drop of boiling water to keep it wet, like in the photo, if you need to.
Step 7: Add the Pumpkin
Add a kilo of pumpkin, stir, bring back to a simmer and put back in the oven for another 2 hours. Serve with rice and a sprinkling of chopped coriander.