We all have happy places and one of my favorite places to be and teach is the Hilltop Hanover Farm. I had a fairly long week (I know, it is becoming a pattern..) and was looking forward to my class. A couples cooking class, it was fun to be able to cook and be with a group of happy people.
The weekend picked up happily as I watched the sun set against the backdrop of a beautiful fall sky and I prepped for my class, with squash, peppers, eggplants and greens. Yes, lots and lots of greens. This is the harvest’s swan song before things get quieter. This simple dish meshes squash with comforting chickpeas making it a perfect one pot meal to cook. Most people asked be about pre-cooking the squash and was pleasantly surprised to see how quickly it cooked on the stove-top. One of the reasons why Indian cooking does so well in the vegetarian front is simple, we treat our vegetables with care, often as stars rather than side kicks for a show, when the squash gently absorbs the seasonings and softens you get a dish that is moist and full flavored.
This recipe really is a roadmap of sorts, I am partial to the kabocha variety and red kuri is also know as red kabocha squash, however you can vary the recipe using any squash of your choice and also mix and match the chickpeas with black or white beans.
A lovely comforting dish pairing red kuri squash and chickpea, with loads of flavor from hot peppers and ginger.
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
- 1 medium sized red onion, finely diced
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 pounds of squash, peeled and coarsely cubed (about 1 medium sized squash)
- 1 medium sized green chili, such as a Serrano, minced
- 1/2 cup of fresh or canned chopped tomatoes
- 11/2 cups of cooked chickpeas
- 1/2 cup water (if you cook your chickpeas from the scratch like me, reserve half cup of the cooking liquid)
- 1 lime or lemon
- 1 or 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- In a large pan, heat the oil and add in the cumin seeds and wait until the seeds begin to sizzle. Add in the onion and the ginger and cook for about 5 minutes until the onion is soft and beginning to turn translucent.
- Add in the turmeric, salt and the squash and mix well. Cover the squash and let it cook covered for about 7 minutes.
- Remove the cover, the squash should be fairly soft at this point.
- Add in the chili, the tomatoes and the chickpeas and mix well. Add in the water and let the mixture simmer for 10 minutes, until the mixture is well mixed and soft.
- Cut the lime or lemon and squeeze in the juice.
- Garnish with the cilantro and serve.