Triple Pumpkin Curry


2 tablespoons canola oil or ghee
1 teaspoon mustard seed
5 fresh curry leaves (available at Indian groceries and HMart)
1⁄4 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-inch-square fresh ginger, minced
¼  to 1⁄2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes, to taste
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1 heaping tablespoon Madras curry powder
1⁄2 tablespoon garam masala
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 3- to 4-pound baking pumpkin, seeds, pulp and skin removed, cut into 1-inch cubes (may substitute a butternut squash)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained (aka garbanzo beans)
1 28-ounce can whole or diced fire-roasted tomatoes
2-3 hot peppers such as Thai bird’s eye chili or Serrano, slivered (optional)

For the garnish:
Drizzle of pumpkin seed oil
Toasted pumpkin seeds
Chopped green onions
Chopped cilantro

In a deep skillet over medium heat, fry the mustard seeds in the oil or ghee until they pop. Add the curry leaves and fennel seeds and stir for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, hot pepper, cumin, coriander, Madras curry powder, garam masala and salt. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the pumpkin and chickpeas and stir to completely cover in spices. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes and a healthy pinch of salt. (If the tomatoes are whole, break apart.) If the skillet seems too dry at this point, add a bit of water. Add the hot peppers, if using, and turn the heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin is tender, about 45 minutes to an hour. Adjust the salt to taste, and serve with hot jasmine or basmati rice. Serves 6 to 8.

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