Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Harissa-spiced pumpkin and chickpea smash

I wasn't sure what to call this dish. It is a bit like a curry and a bit like a stew, but not properly either. Mr Bite called it a pumpkin and chickpea mash. I decided on smash.


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


Ingredients
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

Method
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?

37 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Cara - sometimes names don't matter!

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  2. I can't remember if I have had harissa - it always just seems too hot to interest me but you are selling it well - esp with the smoky edge. I have just been experimenting with a salt spice mix tonight so am in the mood for spice mixes. And I think pumpkin and chickpeas sounds perfect for it.

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    1. Harissa is easier to use than the chipotle chillies in adobo sauce, which were my 'hot' discovery prior to harissa. They are so spicy it's hard to get the spice quantity at a level that isn't super hot. Harissa you can just add a dash of, so it can be much milder. I'm intrigued by your salt spice mix now - I don't think I've played around with that kind of thing before.

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  3. I love using chickpeas for this sort of thing, especially love it with any harissa, chilli, kick in general added to it. Hot is good :-)

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  4. I love anything pumpkin so it sounds and looks yummy to me!

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    Replies
    1. Hopefully soon it will cool down enough for you to have the right temperature to match!

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  5. I love harrisa with anything but these two ingredients in particular.It looks very good. Wish I had it for lunch tomorrow

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    1. If you had the ingredients, it is delightfully quick to whip up :)

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  6. Oh cool, I didn't know you could get harissa in powder form! I'm gonna have to hunt that down! I love the sound of this, and will have to keep it in mind for a cooler day!

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    1. It's funny, I've never seen the paste myself! But I think I am definitely the odd one out.

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  7. I didn't know you could buy it as a powder. I always buy harissa as a paste that I keep in the fridge. That would be a very tasty dinner xx

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    1. I will have to try the paste next time - I imagine it might be easier to keep long term, but the powdered type is quite fun for the time being.

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  8. I wasn't aware that harissa can be bought in powdered form either! The types of recipes where I use harissa most are tajines or middle eastern meals that need a touch of spice.

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    Replies
    1. I want to experiment more with both those types of dishes :)

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  9. That dish looks right up my alley :)

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  10. I've never used Harissa spice before but that looks so yummy and delicious :)

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  11. Replies
    1. That's 'cos you have good taste :-)

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  12. Your timing. Impeccable. I made a batch of harissa on the weekend with some of our chillies, and I have fallen in love. This is a perfect recipe.

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    1. Oh, super! I'm impressed you made your own too - I'll look forward to hearing about it and then how you get on with using it!

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  13. YUM! I love Harissa and chick peas!! Yum, I know this will be my new favourite winter dish, simple, healthy and tasty... it ticks all the boxes :)

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    1. I hope it ticks the 'liking it' box too when you try it :-)

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  14. Awesome :) What a great smash. I end up calling all mashes smashes. But especially when just chuck it all in the pot and shake it!

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    Replies
    1. Teehee, that's my style of cooking!

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  15. I am loving this bright and colourful smash - I would definitely love it.

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    Replies
    1. It certainly adds some colour to winter, that is for sure!

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  16. Harissa makes me giddy! I can't wait to make this when pumpkins are in season again!

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    Replies
    1. It is definitely more of a winter than summer dish, I will concede :P

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  17. Tasty dish! I love simple and delicious meals.

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  18. No matter what you call this, it sounds delicious :)

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  19. I am behind on my blog reading... good thing I didn't miss this. Looks so simple but so tasty. :)

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