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Squash, chickpea & spinach curry

Autumn to me always means squash. We grow lots of different varieties at the Market Garden, but my absolute favourite has to be this one, the Acorn Harlequin (shown above).

The flesh inside is a glorious orangey-yellow and when it has been roasted in the oven it takes on a lovely caramelised flavour. Although they are a bit of a pain to peel and chop, one of the best ways to deal with it is to give it a wash, chop it into four, scoop out the seeds and stringy bits and then lightly brush it all over with olive oil. Stick in a roasting tin and cook in the oven for about 30 mins. Take it out, let it cool for a short time, and then the skin just pretty much peels off, allowing you to chop the flesh easily.

This week's recipe is in honour of the squash, and it's a curry. If you are making this for kids, just keep it on the mild side by adjusting the spicing to taste, or alternatively add some natural yoghurt at the end of cooking, making it more of a korma style curry.

Squash, Potato, Chickpea and Spinach Curry

(serves 4)

Ingredients:

1 squash, peeled, de-seeded, chopped into 1-2cm chunks

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped

1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 half tsp turmeric

1 - 2 tbsp medium curry powder

4 tomatoes, skinned and roughly chopped

2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-2cm chunks

500ml vegetable stock

Couple of handfuls baby spinach leaves

1 400g tin chickpeas, rinsed and drained

Seasoning 

Fresh coriander to serve (optional)

Method -

Roast the squash in a little oil in the oven, 200 degrees C, for about 30 - 40 minutes until soft. Drain on some kitchen paper and set aside. (In this recipe, we peel, de-seed and chop the squash before it goes in the oven, but you can do it the alternative way that I've listed above).

Fry the onion in a little sunflower oil until soft but not brown.

Grate the ginger into the onion, add the garlic and cook for another minute on a low heat.

Add the spices, stirring continuously for another minute.

Add the tomatoes and stock, season well. Bring to boil, add the potatoes, cover pan and simmer until potatoes are just soft.

Add the spinach and stir through until it wilts.

Add the squash and chickpeas and then cook until it's warmed through.

(Check spices - make it hotter with some cayenne pepper or add yoghurt to make it milder.)

Serve with rice, naan bread or chappatis.

Sprinkle some fresh coriander on top when you dish up.

That's it - enjoy your meal! x