There was a sale on pumpkin. Imagine my delight: not just any pumpkin but my favourite -- butternut -- so I decided to buy a butternut or ten, until after making the millionth litre of pumpkin soup, my family threatened to lock me out of the kitchen, because they were sure they had pumpkin soup running through their veins (which they have a problem with for some reason). So I made a promise to my son that there would be an end to this current mania and there was really no need to lock me out of the kitchen. This is the same son that would storm into my room with his siblings who would jump on my bed like a ninja horde and start to kick, punch and chop at 5 a.m. in the morning no less. I remember calling out in desperation, Please, stop, do you have to come and kill each other on my bed at dawn each day?'
So my son looked at me with sympathy and said, “Okay, mummy, don’t be sad, no more killing, from now on just fighting, I promise.”
So darling, no more pumpkin soup, just pumpkin with couscous, I promise.
This couscous stuffed pumpkin is delicious, but the yoghurt takes it to another level, so I highly recommend that you don’t skip the silky smooth super-easy-to-make Lebanese yoghurt sauce, even if you serve it on the side.
Butternut pumpkin cut into roughly same size circles, I got 6 pieces they were 3 cm wide each
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
1teaspoon sweet paprika
1 teaspoon garamasala
Salt and pepper according to taste
1 cup couscous
1 1/4 cup vegetable stock (boiling hot)
2 teaspoon olive oil
1 can chickpeas
1/2 can lentils
1/2 an eggplant cut into small squares
1/2 red capsicum, diced
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup continental parsley chopped
3/4 cup crushed/broken pistachio nuts
seeds one pomegranate. (optional)
Lebanese yoghurt sauce
4 heaped teaspoons yoghurt
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon each: fresh herbs, parsley, mint, dill, finely chopped.
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200c.
Line a baking trays with baking paper.
In a small bowl, mix sweet paprika, garamsala, salt, pepper and oil.
Rub spices and oil mixture on both sides of cut pumpkin, set aside.
Line a baking tray with baking paper
In a large bowl, mix spices with oil. Cut carrot in half (lengthways), drain chickpeas and pat dry with paper towel.
Add the eggplant, chickpeas, carrot, into the oil and spice mixture and coat the veggies with your hands, until they are covered with spices and oil.
Spread the vegetables on the baking tray and transfer pumpkin tray and vegetable tray to the oven and roast for approx. 20-25 min or until pumpkin and vegetables are cooked through.
Pour the cup of couscous into a pot, drizzle olive oil, stir in boiling stock, cover with lid, set aside.
Drain 1/2 cup lentils, dice the carrot. In a large bowl mix lentils, carrots, capsicum, chickpeas, eggplant cranberries, parsley, pistachios, pomegranate and couscous.
In a small bowl mix all of the yoghurt ingredients together.
Spread yoghurt on the base of the pumpkin cover, with couscous and serve hot or cold
Or you can serve the yoghurt on the side.
PS - I love hearing from you! Let me know how it went and feel free to spread the word/passion/love, the more the merrier!
With love and gratitude