Pumpkin, Chickpea and Cashew Curry
Recipe, Words & Images by Harriet Davidson
Curry is, for me, the ultimate comfort food. Having spent time as a child growing up in Fiji, where curry is a hugely significant part of the food culture, I’ve been eating it for as long as I can remember. This recipe has become a go-to for me.
The textures of cashews and kale chips against the velvety pumpkin is what I love most about this dish. I cook kale chips a few times a week to add to dishes, and this lot was made with a beauty of a bunch that I picked from Coopers Growing farm, an organic produce farm I’ve been helping out on.
Once you’ve stocked up on the spices, it’s a perfect cupboard staple recipe, and a great one to have up your sleeve to use this week’s vegetables from your produce box. The spices mixed with the coconut milk makes for a great base for any curry, from eggplant and chickpea, to chicken, sweet potato and lentil, it can take you through the seasons with a variety of produce. This combination of pumpkin and chickpea is my favourite.
I’ve served it here with a mango chutney, coconut yoghurt, lime and chilli. It’s great served with brown rice or flatbread but I often have it on its own, almost as a stew. Whether I’m cooking for myself or for a table, I always cook this amount – the flavours meld and it’s even better the next day, plus is a great one to have in the freezer.
It’s warming, it’s nourishing and is packed full of immune-boosting goods like turmeric, ginger and garlic. I hope it can bring you comfort like it does for me as we head into the cool months.
Pumpkin, cashew chickpea curry (serves four)
1 tbsp coconut oil
3cm piece of ginger (plus some if you’re a ginger fiend like myself)
3cm piece of turmeric (or ½ tbsp ground turmeric)
3 garlic cloves
Half a red or green chilli (adjust to suit your spice liking)
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp curry powder (Madras is a good option)
1 kg pumpkin
1 cup cooked chickpeas, or one can
1 cup cashews, raw or roasted
1 can coconut milk
Half cup basil leaves, torn
Juice from a quarter of a lime
4 stems of kale leaves
Flatbread or rice
Slice the onion finely and finely dice the ginger, turmeric and garlic. Heat coconut oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add in onion and cook for a few minutes to soften before adding in ginger, garlic and turmeric (if using fresh). Let them cook out until the onion is completely soft before adding in all the dry spices and finely diced chilli. Cook until fragrant, about a minute or two.
Peel (I sometimes leave the skin on so this is up to you) and cut pumpkin into about 3cm cube pieces and add this into the pan. Stir to coat the pumpkin in the spices. Add in the chickpeas, half the cashews and stir to combine before adding in the coconut milk. Use your wooden spoon to scrape the bottom of the pot to mix in all those fabulous spices. Use the can from the coconut milk to top it up with half a can of water so the ingredients are almost covered and stir in a pinch of salt. Bring to a fairly rigorous simmer, cover then turn down and cook for half an hour, stirring occasionally so nothing catches on the bottom and removing the lid for the last 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place kale, torn into bite-sized pieces, on a tray and coat with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Cook in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes, or until crisp and just starting to get a little brown. Watch these, they go from green to brown and burnt in a matter of seconds.
The curry is cooked when the pumpkin is cooked through but not so soft that it’s falling apart. Add in the basil leaves and squeeze in the juice of a quarter of a lime. Have a taste - you might want to adjust the spices or add in a little more water if it’s looking a touch on the dry side. I like it to be saucy and pretty heavy on the spices so I often will throw in more cumin here and maybe chilli if I’m feeling bold.
To serve, place the curry in a bowl (with the rice if you’re adding that in). Top with a dollop of yoghurt (I often use coconut yoghurt), the kale chips and mango chutney. Sprinkle on the mint and squeeze on the lime.
Harriet uses our IN BED 100% linen napkins in mustard and tablecloth in natural and our heavyweight linen teatowel in red stripe. Harriet’s bowls are by Girl Nomad Ceramics, all other props are Harriet’s own.