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Nigel Slater’s recipe for pumpkin with mustard seed and curry leaves | Vegan food and drink

Nigel Slater’s recipe for pumpkin with mustard seed and curry leaves | Vegan food and drink
Nigel Slater’s recipe for pumpkin with mustard seed and curry leaves | Vegan food and drink


Peel 500g of pumpkin or butternut squash and cut the flesh into pieces roughly 2cm square. Put a pan of water on to boil, then place a steamer basket or colander over the top. Tip the cubes of pumpkin or squash into the steamer and cover with a lid. Steam for about 8-10 minutes until tender at the point of a knife.

Peel and finely slice 1 large onion. Warm 4 tbsp of groundnut or vegetable oil in a large, deep-sided frying pan over a moderate heat, then add the onion and let it fry for about 8-10 minutes until it is soft and translucent.

Finely chop 1 medium-sized, moderately hot red chilli and add to the onions with a handful of curry leaves (a good 15 or so), 2 tsp of yellow mustard seeds, and 1 tsp of mild chilli powder. Add the steamed pumpkin or squash, lower the heat and let them cook for a good 5-7 minutes, stirring to stop the spices burning. Season with salt and some coarsely ground black pepper.

Pour in 100ml of water and 1 tbsp of dark soy sauce and cook until the onion is well toasted and the pumpkin or squash are thoroughly soft, but still hold their shape. Enough for 2

You could tuck into this with warm flatbread as we do, or with steamed rice. It also makes a good side dish.

Introduce other herbs if you wish alongside the curry leaves. Coriander and mint are at the top of my list.

The onions and pumpkin may catch a little on the pan, caramelising deliciously as they do so. As soon as the water is poured in, they can be eased away from the pan, the caramelised juices enriching the dressing.

Follow Nigel on Instagram @NigelSlater

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