Squash Stuffed With Spicy Masala Chickpeas
Every week we get our organic farm share from Plan B Organic Farms here in Ontario. A couple of months ago, we started to received these really small, what seemed like only, decorative gourds or mini squashes.
I looked at them, stumped. I didn’t know what to do with them.
They were gorgeous. About the size of a closed fist, these little gourds had a jade green skin, speckled with yellow and white spots. I left them out on my counter to stare at.
I eventually said to my man (who is a chef FYI), ‘what should I do with these?’ And, to that, he simply said, ‘cook them’.
I’ve never gone out of my way to cook gourds or squash that have a very tough exterior. I just thought that they would be too tough to cook, and unappetizing to eat.
Oh how wrong I was!
Cooking Autumn squash and gourds is very easy. And, let me tell you…they are so sweet when you roast them. Wow! I just love them!
There are so many different types of squash and gourds that you can use for this recipe. Below is a picture showing Kabocha, Gold Nugget, and Salty Oats Squash, and a really small pumpkin. In my pictures, I used an acorn squash.
Eating gourds or gourd-like squash here in Canada I guess isn’t really popular. I don’t know anyone that eats pumpkin. We generally only associate with pumpkins at Halloween. And, we carve them into scary faces; we don’t eat them.
That all changed for me when I went to live in Australia (many moons ago). It’s very popular to eat pumpkin in Australia, and I was introduced to this revelation of sweetness while I was there.
Roasted pumpkin is gorgeous! Well…roasting any tough exterior squash or gourd is really fabulous. And, they are all very easy to cook.
I had company over last week, and I wanted to cook my beautiful friend something lovely and vegan. So I whipped up this recipe for stuffed squash with masala chickpeas. (She loved it, and told me to put the recipe on the blog ASAP).
Masala is an Indian spice mix that you can easy find in a shop. It’s not too hot, in terms of spiciness; so don’t be intimidated by it.
This recipe is super hardly, and it’s perfect for these bone-chilling winter months.
It’s one of my favorite new recipes!
- 1 medium sized squash/gourd. Or, 2 small squash/gourds
- 2 1/2 cups of cooked chickpeas
- 1 medium sized red onion (finely chopped)
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 3 tbsp of masala (ground spices)
- 3 chopped dates
- 2 tbsp of oil (coconut/olive/grape seed)
- 1/2 cup of water
- Cilantro or Pea Shoots (for topping)
- sea salt
- ground pepper
- Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut the squash/gourd in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.
- Coat the inside flesh with a little bit of oil.
- Place the squash flesh-side-down on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Poke 2 holes into the skin of the squash with a knife.
- Place the squash in the oven to cook for 35-40 minutes. You want the squash to be tender. Poke the skin and flesh of the squash with a knife to see how soft it is.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a pan, pour 2 tbsp of oil.
- Add the chopped onions, and cook them on medium/high heat until they are slightly brown.
- Turn the heat down to medium. Add the minced garlic and 3 tbsp of masala spices. Toss everything in the pan with a spoon. Cook the spices for 2 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas, chopped dates, and water. Stir constantly until the water is evaporated.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Place half of a squash on a plate. Onto the flesh of the squash, drizzle some olive oil and sprinkle some salt. Then, spoon the chickpea mixture into it.
- Top with chopped cilantro or pea shoots (or some sort of greenery).