Corn, Bean, and Pumpkin Stew
1 cup pinto beans, soaked overnight and drained
1 lb tomatoes, fresh or canned, peeled, seeded, and chipped, juice reserved
3 ears corn (about 1 1/2 cup kernels)
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon oregano
1 inch piece of cinnamon
1 large onion, cut into a medium dice
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon paprika
2 cup bean broth or vegetable stock
3 cup pumpkin or winter squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
2 serrano chilies, seeded and finely chopped [or to make it hotter without adding chili powder, leave in the seeds]
Cilantro or parsley, chopped, for garnish
Cook the beans in water and 1/2 t salt for about 1.5 hrs or until beans are tender. Drain and reserve the cooking liquid.
Warm a small heavy skillet and toast the cumin seeds until their fragrance emerges; then add the oregano, stir for 5 seconds, and quickly transfer the spices to a plate or bowl so they don't burn. Combine them with the cinnamon and the cloves, and grind to a powder in an electric spice mill.
Heat a wide skilled [with water or some sauteing liquid] and saute the onion briskly over high heat for 1 minute; then lower the heat to medium. Add the garlic, the spices, the paprika, and 1 t salt. Stir well to combine; then add 1/2 C reserved bean broth or stock and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft. Next add the tomatoes and cook 5 minutes. Then add the pumpkin or winter squash along with another C of bean broth or stock. After 20 to 30 minutes, or when the pumpkin is about half-cooked -- soft but still too firm to eat -- add the corn, the beans, and the fresh chilies. Thin with the reserved tomato juice, adding more broth or stock as necessary. Cook until the pumpkin is tender. Check the seasoning, and add more salt if necessary. Serve garnishe'd with the chopped cilantro or parsley.