Home grown pumpkin curry, 77p if you buy it all
I decided to use one of the 6 pumpkins I managed to grow in the garden this year to make a curry. The flavour in the finished curry was superb, and the texture firm and floury. I’ll have to try and remember what variety I used to grow some more next year.
A pumpkin or butternut squash, about 1kg, yielded 650g once peeled, Asda BNS 85p
Generous tsp ginger paste, 1p or thumb sized piece fresh
a bunch of fresh coriander, Asda 87p, third of the bunch 29p
2 tsp garlic paste, 2p
Tblsp veg oil, 1p
1 fresh red chilli, Asda 60g/50p, 10p
100g onion, 5p
20 curry leaves, optional
Tsp turmeric, Asda 45g/74p, 8p
Half Tsp garam masala, Asda 92g/£1.25, 3p
Half Tsp ground cumin Asda 41g/74p, 4p
Half Tsp ground coriander Asda 34g/69p, 5p
Tin value tomatoes 31p
50g coconut milk powder, Asda, Grace 50g sachet, 50p
250g dried chickpeas, soaked overnight and simmered until soft, or 2 tins. Asda dried 500g/£1, 50p
Serve with a total of 320g value rice, 40p/kg, 26p
Total cost £3.10, 77p a serving
Just the curry, not including the rice, a total of 1738 cals, 69g protein, 202 carbs, 62g fat, 44g fibre
per serving (4) 434 cals, 17g protein, 50g carbs, 15g fat, 11g fibre
I used ginger and garlic from the Asian shop. I get a huge 1kg jar for £2.79 which lasts for ages. I started a lovely fresh new jar of each of them today. If you want to use fresh garlic cloves, it’s about 3 or 4 cloves.
I used some curry leaves that have been in the freezer for far too long, also bought at an Asian shop. If you don’t have any (and supermarkets don’t sell them) just leave them out.
I still have lots of Maggi coconut milk powder that I bought cheaply from Approved Foods, so I use that whenever I make anything with coconut in.
The chilli was one from the greenhouse. If you use fresh chillies, they are fairly easy to grow and will live on a window sill if you have no greenhouse. Mine go on the window sill during the colder weather. They get a bit bigger each year and flower when they feel like it. Mine flowered last winter, and not surprisingly, not many chillies came from it. It flowered again twice in the summer and I’ve had a lot from those flowerings. The chillies freeze beautifully if you get too many to use at any one time. They will go from green chillies to red as they ripen on the plant and will sit on the plant quite happily for weeks. You can either get a bag of seeds and start that way, growing several plants and maybe bartering or giving them away to your friends. Or if you aren’t confident about that process, supermarkets and garden centres sell good sized plants, usually with lots of chillies already on them.
I usually use dried chick peas as they are so much cheaper, you get 500g of dried chickpeas for about the same price of a standard tin, although value ones are less. Of course, use tins if you prefer.
Prepare the pumpkin by chopping it into small wedges, scooping out the seeds with a large spoon and slicing off the peel with a sharp knife. Now chop the pumpkin into walnut sized chunks.
Pick the leaves off the coriander and set to one side. Chop the stalks. If you are using fresh ginger, peel it and chop finely. If you are using fresh garlic, do the same to that.
Chop the chilli finely, seeds and all. Peel and slice the onion.
Put the oil in a large saucepan. Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and onion and sizzle until the onion softens. Now add the coriander stalks and curry leaves if using. Sizzle for a few minutes.
Add the remaining spices, the tomatoes and coconut milk. If you are using coconut milk powder like me, make sure you mix it with water first or it may well split once it is simmered.
I wanted to roast my pumpkin, so I drizzled a little oil over, sprinkled with salt and roasted in a medium oven until it was soft and beginning to get crispy bits.
Add the cooked pumpkin and cooked chickpeas to the curry sauce and season with salt and a little pepper. You’ll need about a tsp of salt.
If you don’t want to roast the pumpkin, add the raw chunks to the sauce, along with the cooked chickpeas and simmer gently for about 40 minutes. Add a little more water if it is getting too dry. Alternatively, if too runny, remove the lid and simmer down the sauce until it is thick enough.
Once ready to serve, chop the coriander leaves and scatter over the top.
We had ours with some nans from Approved Foods, and brown basmati.
Mango chutney would go well, maybe a little tomato and cucumber salad.
If you don’t want to use separate spices, use a couple of tblsps of curry paste, Pataks are excellent, or a curry spice powder. Make sure you sizzle your paste or powder to bring out the flavour.
You could swap out the pumpkin for any other vegetable you want to use. So potato and mushroom, or carrot for instance. This would freeze well, so if you are a singleton, or won’t use all 4 portions within a day or so, pop it into the freezer, ready for a lovely homemade convenience meal.
Take care of your family and your budget
Before putting together the meal planners, Lesley surveyed what was needed. Of the existing 14 budget meal plans, most are cheap meals for 2 people so can be sized up or down. Others are cheap family meals for 4 people, or meals for one