vegetable oil or ghee (if not vegan)
1 onion, chopped thinly into strips
1 red or habanera chili, deseeded and chopped finely
1 big thumb sized piece of ginger, peeled and grated/chopped finely
1 small handful of curry leaves
3 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon chili powder (more or less as you like it)
2 teaspoons coriander powder
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder (no more, it’s a bitter spice)
1/2 a Jap pumpkin – chopped as fine as possible
2 cans of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 400ml cans of good heavy coconut milk (please, not the lite kind)
1 small handful of chopped coriander leaves
a bunch of spinach leaves, steamed and then blended
salt and pepper
1) Dry fry the fenugreek, cumin and mustard seeds on low heat just until you can smell them. Then turn off the heat, pour them out of the pan and set aside. It’s really important they’re not burnt.
2) Cover the bottom of a big pot with the oil. When it’s medium-hot throw in the onion and fry it for ages – until it’s almost done like a school sausage sizzle.
3) Then throw in the fresh chili, ginger and curry leaves, and stir-fry for two minutes.
4) Put in the curry leaves, fenugreek, cumin and mustard seeds and fry for another minute.
5) Then throw in the spice powders (except for the turmeric), stir them through the oil for 30 seconds. Again, don’t burn them…it smells bad and tastes worse.
6) Slowly add a can of coconut milk, stirring as you go. Wait until it’s boiling strong and true.
7) Put in your pumpkin and chick peas. Stir and wait till it boils again.
8) Put in the turmeric powder.
9) Add the rest of the coconut milk slowly and make it boil again
10) Then just simmer it on low (should take at least half an hour), mashing the pumpkin cubes as they get soft enough
11) Add a couple of good pinches of salt and a bit of pepper
12) Once all the pumpkin is mashed up, it should be a relatively thick mixture, if it’s too thin, simmer it for a bit longer.
13) Stir the spinach leaves through it for a minute then turn off the heat.
14) Add the coriander leaves, stir them through and it’s ready.
15) Serve with rice and paratha bread, or other Indian bread. I sometimes cook this the day before I eat it, because it just tastes so good the next day.