Halloween is over and therefore, pumpkin madness has subsided somewhat. I kinda like that. It’s not that I don’t like pumpkins. I’m quite enthusiastic pumpkins. But as most things, I like them in moderation, and not glaring down on me with their evil Halloweeny fangs from every shop window or supermarket aisle. I like pumpkins for eating purposes. I’m not so big on carving. I’m pretty good at eating pumpkin, not really at carving, that might explain why. Or maybe it’s because where I grew up we didn’t really do Halloween.
I’ve made a graph to demonstrate fondness of pumpkins throughout a year:
I feel like I should explain the graph. The whole period of ‘no interest’ is the period when pumpkins are not in season. It’s not that I don’t like them in that period, just that I have no particular interest in them during that time, since they’re unavailable anyway. I know the graph is confusing because this way, ‘no interest’ seems more of a dislike than ‘meh’, which it’s not. But I’m a language student and I don’t know how to make graphs because I never needed to until today.
Anyway, back to pumpkins. I wasn’t always this fond of them, because I thought the only thing you could do with pumpkins was make soup. Turns out I was wrong. You can do anything you like with pumpkin and actually, you should, because they’re really nice. I quite like pumpkin stew. Its all autumny and nice and there’s no meat in it, ’cause there’s no need for that with all this pumpkin.
For about 2 people, you will need:
- about half a kilo of pumpkin (or you can use squash, same result, essentially)
- a couple of potatoes
- a courgette
- a tin of chick peas
- a tin of chopped tomatoes
- an onion
- a clove of garlic, maybe 2
- a dried chili in bits or equivalent amount in crushed chilis or chili flakes
- a stick of cinnamon
- a generous tsp of cumin seeds or normal tsp of ground cumin
- sugar, salt, pepper and oil
Peel and cut the onion and the garlic. Chop them up and fry them on medium heat in some sunflower oil, along with the chili and the cumin. Peel the pumpkin (with a potato peeler works best for me), peel the potatoes, dice them and add them to the pan. Chop up the courgette and add it, too. Then add the chopped tomatoes, a minimal amount of water, some salt, some sugar, some pepper, the drained chickpeas and the cinnamon stick, stir well, wait till it all just about begins to boil, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and leave to simmer for about half an hour. Stir occasionally.
Check to see if the potato and pumpkin are soft enough. If yes, that’s you. All done.
If you find this too boring, top it with some goat’s cheese.