|A Life of Peace & Plenty - Here & Now|
The frost is finally on the pumpkin as of daybreak this morning.
It's the resplendent little Red Kuri Pumpkin that is growing at Art Song this year.
We've just past the equinox & the song singing itself in my kitchen is the Harvest Moon Autumn Ritual Pumpkin Lentil Stew.
2 large onions
2 cloves garlic
2 T fresh ginger
2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tsp cardomom seed
1/2 tsp dried hot red chilies
2 cups lentils (~12 ounces) - these can be a mixture of different kinds
6 cups broth
~3 lbs Red Kuri Pumpkin (or your favorite winter squash)
Sea Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Quality Water (I use Kangen)
(Full Disclosure: I don't own a food processor)
Chop onions, press garlic and finely grate ginger.
Place in a wok or similar large cooking vessel.
Using a spice grinder, blender or mortar and pestle, finely crush the coriander, cumin and cardamom seeds. Add to onions, garlic and ginger along with the chili pepper and 1/2 cup water. Cook on top of the stove, stirring occasionally, until the liquid has evaporated, a brown film forms in the pan and a lovely scent emerges. This will take maybe 15 minutes. (Remember, this is a ritual).
Deglaze the pan by adding 1/4 cup water and stir to loosen the brown film. Repeat previous step, cooking mixture dry and deglazing until vegetables are richly browned. (See, the food processor wouldn't have really have changed your commitment to investing yourself in this ritual).
Rinse and drain the lentils. Add to the pan along with the broth. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer ~10 minutes.
Meanwhile, peel and remove seeds from the pumpkin. Cut up into 3/4" cubes. You should have ~ 2 quarts.
Add squash to the pan, cover and simmer until lentils and squash are soft when pressed. As I double or triple this recipe when I make it, this can take several hours. The idea is for the squash to steam.
When you feel satisfied that the whole stew is cooked, drain any remaining liquid to use as a soup and season with salt and pepper to taste. The smell and taste is so intoxicating, I find I want very little of either.
If you choose to serve this with a little Tzaziki or sour cream, may I suggest that you add it either before or after you faint in delight.