The first of our pumpkin harvest became an amazing curry this weekend, courtesy of a recipe by the excellent Nigel Slater.
Pumpkin with ginger, coconut milk and lime
Stir in the coconut milk, gently so as not to smash the squash, and continue cooking for a couple of minutes, check the seasoning, then stir in the limejuice, the coriander and mint. Serve with the rice.
This recipe really does improve even further with a day in the fridge. If you have any left over then it will be even better the next day.
Serves 4 with rice
medium onions – 2
groundnut oil -3 tablespoons
a large lump of ginger, about 60g
small, very hot chillies – 3
stalks of lemon grass – 3
ground turmeric – 2 teaspoons
ground cumin – 1 teaspoon
ground coriander – 1 teaspoon
tomatoes – 800g
vegetable stock (or water at a push) -400ml
pumpkin or butternut squash -1.5kg
coconut milk – 250ml
the juice of a plump lime
a small handful of coriander leaves
a small handful mint leaves
to serve: steamed rice
Peel the onions and roughly chop them. Cook them slowly with the oil in a deep heavy-based saucepan. They should be soft, but relatively uncoloured. Whilst they softening, peel the ginger and shred the flesh into fine matchsticks; seed and finely chop the chillies; peel and discard the outer leaves of the lemon grass thenvery finely slice the soft inner core.
Add the ginger, chillies and lemon grass to the onions and continue cooking for five minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin and coriander.
Chop the tomatoes roughly and stir them into the onions. Let them soften for five or seven minutes or so, stirring the mixture so it does not burn, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer. Peel the pumpkin or squash, scrape out and discard the seeds and fibres and cut the flesh into large chunks. Season with salt and black pepper. They need to be a good 4 or 5 cms in size if they are not to break up and become soup. Lower the squash into the pot and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, checking now and again for tenderness. It is worth remembering that it is a fine line between tender squash and squishy squash.
I was really impressed with the thick firm flesh of the pumpkin, and also the number of seeds packed into its centre.
I scooped these out, rinsed off the juice and fibres that clung to them, rubbed them in a little olive oil, seasoned them lightly and roasted them at a low temperature for about twenty minutes. They make a wonderful tasty snack, reminiscent of popcorn.