Emma’s honeyed pumpkin with chickpeas and spinach

Emma is a key volunteer at the Bandstand Beds, especially as she is water rota co-ordinator! She cycles past the beds each morning on her way to work, a housing association where she joins up environmental improvements. She is loving learning about growing crops with Bandstand Beds. First class member of Bandstand Beds!

This is a delicious dish that my mum learnt at a cooking lesson in Dunedin, New Zealand. The pumpkin is so sweet, soft and succulent and goes well with the subtly spiced tomato chickpea mix. Topped off with a garlic yoghurt, it is all so easy,  homemade and sure to impress! The photo is of me cooking it at my friend’s parents’ place in Kent. In New Zealand, we mostly use the crown pumpkin for cooking, but any pumpkin would go well as it absorbs the honey goodness.

Honeyed pumpkin

500 g pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2.5 cm slices

700 ml water

50 grams butter

4 tablespoons honey

½ teaspoon salt

In a frying pan, add the pumpkin, water, butter, honey and salt. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and cook very gently until the pumpkin is tender and the liquid absorbed. Then prepare the tomato mix below.

Tomato mix

2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 400g of chickpeas)

2 tablespoons rice bran oil (or just use whatever oil you have)

1 onion, finely chopped,

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon coriander seeds

1 tablespoon tomato paste

2 x 400g can peeled tomatoes, chopped

1  teaspoon sugar

1 ½  teaspoons ground cumin

100 grams spinach leaves

salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ cup fresh coriander

Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion, cumin seeds and coriander seeds. Saute until golden brown. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, sugar and ground cumin. Simmer for a further 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the spinach and add the cooked chickpeas. Taste and season.

Place the honeyed pumpkin on a serving dish, pour over the chickpea mixture and top with the coriander.

You can also top it all off with a garlic yoghurt mix of:

200 grams plain unsweetened yoghurt

1 garlic clove, crushed

Juice and zest of a lemon

1 teaspoon fresh chopped mint

Mix all together in a bowl and serve on top of the honeyed pumpkin and chickpea mix.