Pumpkin & chickpea spread

This makes a great spread for sandwiches or can be used as a dip too. The pumpkin gives it a nice sweetness which works well with the spices. It’s inspired by a pumpkin and roasted coconut dip in my friend Yao’s book “The Yao of Cooking”.

So what do you need?

  • 500g pumpkin flesh
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp. cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp. coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. pepper corns
  • 4 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 can / 250g cooked chickpeas
  • squeeze of lemon / lime (optional)
  • 2 – 3 spring onions
  • 3 tbsp. sesame seeds

So what do you do?

Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees F / 400 C. chop the pumpkin into cubes (about 4- 5 cms) and grind the garlic, spices and salt together with a mortar and pestle. Put the pumpkin on a baking tray and 2 tbsp. of sesame oil, sprinkle over the spice mixture and mix everything together. Put in the oven for 30 – 40 mins until the pumpkin is soft and starting to brown.

Then put the pumpkin along with any spices in the baking tray and the drained chickpeas in a food processor and add the remaining 2 tbsp. of sesame oil and blend together. You can mash them in a bowl if you don’t have a food processor. Check the consistency you may need to add a drizzle of water to loosen the mixture a little but if you plan to use it as a spread then it shouldn’t be sloppy. If you plan to use t as a dip then add a little more water until you get the consistency you want. Taste and add a little more salt if necessary, if you’re using it as a dip then maybe squeeze in a little lemon or lime too. Then dry roast the sesame seeds in a frying pan until they turn golden and chop up the spring onions. Mix most of these into the spread by hand reserving some to garnish the dish with. Spoon into a bowl and garnish with the remaining sesame seeds and onions. Great with pitta bread.




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