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It’s Meatless Monday-‘Pumpkin’ and Chickpea Curry

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Sometimes recipes are created by looking at a vegetable and wondering what you can make with it. That’s how this week’s Meatless Monday dish came about. Inside the CSA box was what I initially thought was a pumpkin. It was in fact, a red kabocha squash. Either way I was tempted to keep it for Halloween as it looked so festive sitting on the table. However, I got curious as to how it would taste and what I could do with it.
As the weather’s turned cold with some snowflakes in the air, something warming like curry came to mind. So this is what I came up with, a Thai inspired curry that’s accented with all things from my collection of Thai Kitchen products that were gifted to me last year by the company. Don’t worry if you don’t have any or can’t find them because I used a base of cumin seeds, ginger and garlic that created a wonderful depth of flavor, and all you’d need to do is add some spice to suit your comfort level of spiciness. Coconut milk finishes off the dish, giving it a creamy texture. Serve it with some brown or Jasmine rice and I think it makes the perfect fall supper.

3 cups of chopped squash (I think butternut would work for this recipe too)
4 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger
Salt
Oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
1 teaspoon red curry paste
1 small onion, chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
Handful of Kefir Lime Leaves (they’re like bay leaves so be sure to remove them before serving)
1 teaspoon of Thai basil
1 stick of dried lemongrass (Another thing to remove before serving)
If you like your curry really hot, add some red pepper flakes
2 ½ cups of coconut milk…I use the So Delicious brand as I think it’s less expensive than the canned varieties…use the unsweetened one!

In a small bowl, or mortar and pestle if you have one, smash the garlic and ginger together with some salt until you get a paste.

In a large saucepan and over medium high heat, add about two tablespoons of oil and once it’s heated, add the cumin seeds and cook until they’re fragrant.

Add the garlic/ginger mixture and cook for a few minutes making sure it doesn’t get too brown.

Add the onion and cook for another couple of minutes.
Add the Kefir leaves, lemongrass , Thai basil, and red pepper flakes if you’re using them, and also the cubed squash and make sure everything is well coated. Continue cooking for about five minutes or until the squash turns a little golden brown.

Add the drained chickpeas and stir everything together.

Slowly add the coconut milk into the mixture. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered for about fifteen minutes or until the squash is cooked.

Add more coconut milk if necessary and remove lemongrass and Kefir leaves.
Add more salt if necessary and serve immediately.

Serves 4

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