Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pumpkin & Bean Casserole

Another lovely one pot meal from my trusted Good Food 101 Healthy Eats. As I have said before, the recipes from this book make for quick and healthy weekday meals, at the same time very delicious. There is this Egg curry which is made with spinach, a lovely chicken casserole , a delicious Lemon Chicken & Cauliflower Pilaf each one had that "something different" factor about it which helped break the monotony of our everyday meal.

This casserole recipe has black eyed beans cooked with pumpkins into a lovely stew kind of consistency with herbs and spices and then baked with a lovely topping. The original recipe called for a breadcrumb, walnut and herb mixture, but I couldn't resist going for a mashed potato topping which one usually finds in a cottage pie recipe. Also, I have done the bread crumb topping before for this dish and we found it turned out too dry for our liking....I know I'm probably doing something wrong, but right then the mashed potatoes beckoned! ;) Unfortunately, I didn't take a photograph of the finished dish after it was baked with the lovely crust.

So, if you have been wondering what to do with those black eyed beans in your pantry besides the usual Indian dishes we make; or if you have a hunk of pumpkin sitting in the fridge and don't want yet another bowl of soup - try out this recipe. Some bread on the side to go with it and you are all set.

This casserole of goodness goes to that wonderful event My Legume Love Affair (MLLA) which is the brain child of Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and this month's edition has come back to her blog after being hosted by many enthusiastic members of our food blogging community.

Pumpkin & Bean Casserole
(adapted from BBC Good Food - 101 Healthy Recipes)


2 cups cooked black eyed beans (chowli/lobia/karamani)
(Soak approx. 1.25 cups of dried beans in water overnight, drain the water and cook in fresh water in a pressure cooker or on the stove top till tender)

2 tbsp olive oil
Onions - 2 chopped
Garlic cloves - 4 finely chopped
Green chillies - 2 , finely chopped
2.5 cups fresh tomato puree (the original recipe called for passata, you could use store bought tomato puree)
1 " stick cinnamon
3-4 cloves
400ml white wine
400 ml vegetable stock (I used a stock cube dissolved in 400ml warm water in which the beans were cooked)
350 gms pumpkin (kaddu/sitafal/sigappu pushnikai), peeled and cut into 2 " cubes.
red chilli powder - 1 tsp
salt to taste

For the potato topping:
4-5 big potatoes, boiled and mashed (I ran them through a potato ricer)
2-3 tbsp milk
salt to taste
freshly crushed black pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the onions and saute for 10 minutes till lightly browned. Add the garlic, green chillies, red chilli powder, tomato puree, wine, vegetable stock, salt and pepper and bring to boil.
2. Reduce heat, simmer and cook uncovered for about 20 minutes. Add the chopped pumpkin and cook for another 15 minutes.
3. Pre heat the oven to 180 C, add the beans to the pumpkin and tomato gravy and mix. Transfer the entire pan into a large baking dish or two smaller ones.
4. You can now opt to cover the casserole with the original recipe's suggestion of a crumble mixture (breadcrumbs, walnuts, herbs and oil) or my choice which was a mashed potato topping.
5. Combine the ingredients for the potato topping together and then spoon the topping over the beans casserole carefully, taking care not to press down too hard.
6. Bake at 180C for 20-25 minutes till the topping is golden brown on top. Serve with warm bread.


sra said...

Hi Miri, I must say I didn't know about a wet casserole with a crunchy top till now. Tell me, is the topping, whether walnut or potato, likely to sink into the stew and not form a topping at all? I know your experience was not that, but I'm wondering if you know why the topping isn't overtaken by the stew.

It's just that I often find myself with a hunk of pumpkin, and this seems an interesting way to use it up.

Cynthia said...

I think I will try making this. I don't think I will put the topping though. I'll make it as it to eat with rice or roti.

Miri said...

@sra - you can always dry up the stew so that it doesn't have so much liquid - I think the original recipe also wouldn't have had that much liquid in it, but we like it like that.

And yes, there was no problem, the topping stayed ..."on top" :) The topping is just placed and not spread and there should be a goodish quantity and then it won't sink down...

Hope that helps


Srivalli said...

what a lovely way to use both the sra says..we always end up having pumpkins and never know what to make than the usual Indian curries...this does look innovative to me..:)

Arch said...

Now thats really new !! I made a erissery with pumpkin and karamani, would have never imagined a non-indian dish with it - this sounds really good...

Bong Mom said...

I have never had anything like this with a crusty topping. Ha, ha, I think I can just eat the topping ;-)

Susan said...

Your "pumpkin pie" looks delicious, Miri! I'd love to serve this when the weather here begins to chill.

Thanks for your MLLA recipe!

Vaishali said...

This looks so good Miri. I love black-eyed peas and combining it with pumpkin is a delicious idea. And the potato topping is surely the icing on the cake! :)