I was actually rather surprised to still be able to find a pumpkin post-Halloween. Why? Well as soon as Halloween passes, pumpkins are immediately removed from the aisles of supermarkets and the grocers shelves.
I have to forewarn you in advance this chilli is spicy and hot. It is one designed for grown ups. Denis Cotter makes his version with 8 dried birds eye chilli, please don’t be alarmed and think the chilli ratio will knock your cotton socks off. I have followed Denis Cotters recipe word for word and actually found 8 not spicy enough, so upped it to 14 (honest). I think dried chillies must lose that heat intensity on drying or else I have a high tolerance of chilli and spicy food. This time though, not having any dried birds eye chillies in stock, I substituted these with some fresh red chillies. I used 5 or was it 6? It was spicy, it was heat Hot – but not too hot that you could not taste the other flavours.
If you decide to make this and I encourage you to do so, You can err on the side of caution and use 4 – no less though, this is supposed to be a Chilli dish after all.
As mentioned, although hot and spicy, all the flavours in the pot came through good and strong. The black beans were what Jack Crow (from the blockbuster Hollywood movie Pirates of the Caribbean) would declare black pearls and the Borlotti beans soft, the leek was both silky and caramel like. The pumpkin bites were roasted to perfection, allowing the natural sweetness and graininess to come through. Instead of the usual accompaniment of rice, I served these with some chickpea chips aka fries. Fabulous they were too.
I am submitting this to Lisa of Lisa’s Kitchen who is hosting Novembers edition of My Legume Love Affair, the event founded by Susan of the Well Seasoned Cook to encourage bloggers to to share legume recipes.
Pumpkin, black bean and leek chilli
1 large onion, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon coriander seeds, freshly ground
1 tablespoon cumin, freshly ground
4 to 6 fresh red chillies, sliced
1 x 400g tinned tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato puree
salt to taste
400g pumpkin, peeled and chopped into even sized cubes
1 large leek, washed well of grit and cut into slices
1x 400g tinned black beans (or mixed beans), drained and rinsed
1x400g tinned Borlotti beans, drained and rinsed
Heat a little olive oil in large pan and cook the onions and garlic until soft. Add the spices, chilli and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the tomatoes and the tomato puree. Bring the sauce to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes. Season with salt and check the spice levels - the sauce should be very heavily spiced at this point, as the vegetables and beans will dilute the flavours.
While the sauce is cooking, toss the pumpkin cubes into olive oil and roast them in a hot oven until softened. Turn and toss the pumpkin cubes once or twice as they cook.
In another wide pan, heat two tablespoon live oil and cook the leeks in it until just tender, stirring often.
Add the black beans, Borlotti beans, pumpkin cubes and leeks to the sauce and simmer for about 10 minutes. Check the seasoning and spices before serving.
Serve on rice, chickpea chips or in tortilla wraps along with soured cream and cheese; or vegan alternative. Once again, this recipe is adapted slightly from Denis Cotter Paradiso Seasons. I hope he will not mind. If you do not have this cookbook on your shelf, I strongly encourage you to put it on your wish list. Not only for the creative and flavour packed recipes, but for the style of writing which I very much like.