chickpeas with butternut squash lemongrass and coriander

January 16, 2011

I have a confession to make – I have never cooked with lemongrass. I like lemongrass but it’s just never entered my lexicon or, more practically speaking, my pantry. I decided to change that last night by trying out Nigel Slater‘s recipe called chickpeas with pumpkin lemongrass and coriander. Since I don’t stock pumpkin but do stock all sorts of squashes I decided to make it with butternut squash instead. It was great over basmati rice with a few steamed sugar snap peas on the side.

200 grams dried chickpeas, soaked in mineral water for several hour, (or two cans cooked chickpeas)

2 medium onions

2 tbsp groundnut oil

4 cloves garlic

thumb-sized ginger

3 large stalks lemongrass

2 tsps ground coriander

2 tsps ground tumeric

6 green cardamoms

2 hot red chillies

500g butternut squash, peeled and seeded

250ml vegetable stock

400ml coconut milk

1 tbsp yellow mustard seeds

handful cilantro, chopped

2 limes, halved

Drain the chickpeas and bring them to the boil in deep, unsalted water. Let them simmer for 40 to 50 minutes, till tender.
Peel the onions and chop them quite finely. Pour the oil into a deep casserole and add the onions, letting them cook over a moderate heat till soft and translucent. Meanwhile, peel the garlic and the ginger, remove any tough leaves from the lemongrass, then make all into a rough paste in a food processor. Stir into the softened onions and continue to cook. Add the ground coriander and turmeric, then lightly crush the seeds of the green cardamoms and deseed and finely chop the fresh chillies before stirring them in.

Keep the heat fairly low and on no account allow the ingredients to brown.

Chop the pumpkin into large chunks, though no larger than you would like to put in your mouth, then add to the pan, along with the drained cooked chickpeas and the stock. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and continue to cook at a gentle bubble till the pumpkin is tender. Stop as soon as the flesh is yielding to the point of a knife, you don’t want it to collapse.
Stir in the coconut milk and continue to simmer. Put a splash of oil into a nonstick pan and tip in the yellow mustard seeds. As soon as they start to pop, add them to the pumpkin together with the coriander leaves. Serve with the rice and the lime halves, ready to squeeze over at the last minute.

One Response to “chickpeas with butternut squash lemongrass and coriander”

  1. […] also makes an appearance (along with its seed form, coriander) in this chickpea dish that includes squash and lemongrass. […]

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