Pumpkins are a versatile vegetable. Delicious either roasted, mashed or used in a soup they are not only cheap but currently in season. Try using butternut squash in this easy coconut and ginger curry.
Serves 4 with rice
2 medium onions
3 tablespoons canola oil
60g (or a large lump) of ginger
3 small, very hot chillies
3 stalks of lemon grass
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
400ml vegetable stock (or water at a push)
1.5kg pumpkin or butternut squash
250ml coconut milk
Juice of a ripe lime
Small handful of coriander leaves
Small handful mint leaves
Steamed rice, to serve
1 Peel the onions and roughly chop them. Cook them slowly with the oil in a deep heavy-based saucepan. They should be soft, but relatively uncoloured. Whilst they softening, peel the ginger and shred the flesh into fine matchsticks; seed and finely chop the chillies; peel and discard the outer leaves of the lemon grass them very finely slice the soft inner core.
2 Add the ginger, chillies and lemon grass to the onions and continue cooking for five minutes. Stir in the turmeric, cumin and coriander.
3 Chop the tomatoes roughly and stir them into the onions. Let them soften for five or seven minutes or so, stirring the mixture so it does not burn, then pour in the stock. Bring to the boil then turn down to a gentle simmer. Peel the pumpkin or squash, scrape out and discard the seeds and fibres and cut the flesh into large chunks. Season with salt and black pepper. They need to be a good 4 or 5 cms in size if they are not to break up and become soup. Lower the squash into the pot and let it simmer for 20-25 minutes, checking now and again for tenderness. It is worth remembering that it is a fine line between tender squash and squishy squash.
4 Stir in the coconut milk, gently so as not to smash the squash, and continue cooking for a couple of minutes, check the seasoning, then stir in the limejuice, the coriander and mint. Serve with the rice.