This dish extends my recent discovery of harissa, which often comes as a paste but I have as a powder. As basic chemistry would suggest, you can make a paste from the powder but I've been using mine primarily in powdered form. Regardless of how you buy it, harissa is usually flavoured from multiple types of spicy chilli as well as garlic, coriander and caraway. Sometimes it has a smoky edge to it too. It adds a burst of heat with more complex flavours than straightforward chilli.
This is an easy dish, and I imagine it would also work well with sweet potato. Alternatively (or in addition!), you could swap the chickpeas out for lentils. Eat meat? Harissa is meant to go well with lamb. Tweak away, and have fun with your version.
Harissa-spiced pumpkin and chickpea smash
Serves 2 as a small main or 3 as a side dish
Vegan and low fat
1 small butternut pumpkin (generating about 1.5 cups pumpkin pieces)
1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp smoky paprika
1/2 tsp harissa powder (if you don't have harissa, you could use chilli powder; use less or substitute regular paprika if you don't like spicy dishes)
1 cup cooked chickpeas
Peel and chop the pumpkin into small-medium sized pieces. Steam on the stove top or roast in a moderate oven until soft and tender, but still retaining their shape.
Combine the balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, paprika and harissa in a small bowl or jug and whisk together. Transfer to a medium saucepan. Add the pumpkin and chickpeas and cook over low-medium heat for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Serve with spinach leaves or as desired.
I'm still being quite cautious with harissa, in terms of keeping the amount I use conservative, but it is a welcome addition to my pantry...and perfectly paired with winter.
Submitted to Ricki's Wellness Weekend 4th to 8th July 2013 and Healthy Vegan Friday #50.
Some of you shared your harissa experiences when I mentioned I'd discovered the spice. Any 'best dish' recommendations?