Halloween… Pumpkin Tagine

Oooh Halloween’s a wonderful night, I’ve just walked through the village on my way back from buying trick or treat sweets and all the windows are aglow with pumpkins and various squashes. I have done my little window display and filled the jam pan with sweets because it looks pretty cauldron-esque! I had aspirations of cobwebs and ghosts and spiders but I didn’t get organised in time and so, that will have to do.

Harry Potter inspired

I felt a bit sad defacing my pumpkin as this is the year where I’ve really begun to love pumpkin flesh, I like pumpkin pie and I know I listed a recipe for this last year but I was yet to be really wowed by a pumpkin until I fell accidentally into this recipe with some cinderella squashes and pumpkin the other day.

I really love tagine, there’s that wonderful combination of fruit and savoury and warm heat from the spices. We have a tagine dish somewhere in the cupboard but a large saucepan will do and I wanted to add dried prunes and apricots and butterbeans or chickpeas but there weren’t any in the cupboard. I’d definitely add these if I made this again. It really was so delicious, I served it with creme fraiche and fresh mint and couscous. But you could use other pulses or perhaps a flatbread to soak up the juices, because the juices are seriously good.

I used a Cinderella pumpkin, the orange but shallow, curvy variety, they’re usually a deeper, darker orange than the pumpkins in the supermarket. The flesh is really, really sweet and they look brilliant when carved, really atmospheric.

warm and comforting

Pumpkin Tagine

 serves about 6

  • a small pumpkin or medium sized squash (peeled and cubed, fairly large cubes)
  • a parsnip (peeled and cubed)
  • two sweet potatoes (peeled and cubed)
  • a large onion (peeled and cubed)
  • olive oil
  • 2 tbsp turmeric
  • 2tbsp ground ginger
  • 2 tbsp ground coriander
  • a stick of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp crushed chillies
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 pt vegetable stock
  • 1 glass of apple juice (amount depending on wetness of tagine)
  • 1 red/1 yellow pepper (cubed)
  • 1 courgette (cubed)
  • 2 tbsp apple sauce or apricot jam or something sweet and jammish (but probably not strawberry!
  • a lemon
  • yoghurt or creme fraiche and mint to serve
  1. In a large pan, heat the olive oil on a medium heat and add the onion, pumpkin, parsnip and sweet potato. Fry these in the oil for 10 minutes so that they are slightly browned and softened around the edges.
  2. Add the two halves of the lemon and stir. After about 5 minutes, add the spices and chillies and stir through.
  3. Fry for another 10 minutes and then add the vegetable stock.
  4. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 minutes (during this time, the sweet potato and pumpkin will thicken the liquid).
  5. Add the bay leaves and coriander and leave to simmer for another 10 minutes.
  6. Add the apple juice, depending on how thick the liquid is. If it has reduced a lot, more apple juice, if still quite wet, less apple juice and stir in the apple sauce.
  7.  Preheat the oven to 170 C and place the cubed courgettes and peppers on a roasting tray, drizzle with olive oil and put in the oven for 20 minutes until slightly browned.
  8. Add the peppers and courgettes to the tagine and cook through for 5 minutes, ensuring the sauce is lovely and thick and reduced. Serve.
removing the innards

frying off

not pretty yet

 

lovely

 

And crammed with your five a day!

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