I don’t know about your kids, but mine have always protested loudly at being served curries. I’ve long considered it an inconvenience. I love Indian curries. They’re just fantastic at home, in a restaurant, or for a sneaky takeaway meal. And because they’re so often gluten-free, they would be the perfect solution to the challenges of eating out. You know, after giving the wait staff the third degree about what’s in the food and how it’s prepared, you then sit and wait to see if there’s any nasty reaction from the food that you were assured was gluten-free. It’s a bit of an emotional rollercoaster, to be honest.
So it was frustrating that my kids wouldn’t touch anything with even a hint of spice. But recently, they discovered the pure joy of butter chicken and now will happily eat mild curry. I’m not sure what changed – it may have been a bit of perseverance on my part, or they worked out that butter chicken doesn’t contain any vegetables (apart from onion). I’d love to give myself a pat on the back and declare that perseverance is key, but I’m sure they out foxed me on the veggie front.
Anyway, I liked the idea of a pumpkin and chickpea curry as it’s so nice to have a meat-free family meal every now and again. I used coconut oil and butter chicken curry paste in this recipe, but any oil and a good-quality gluten-free paste of your choice will do.
There’s nothing like a quick conversion of meal leftovers to lunchbox fare, and that’s what I’ve done here. Serve the curry with rice for the main meal and then add an egg to the curry leftovers. Spoon the leftovers into the bread cases, which can be quickly and easily fashioned. Even if the cases crack or have holes in them, it doesn’t matter. The curry mix will fill the holes and set during the cooking process. You end up with an easy to manage, tasty lunch that can be prepared in minutes.
Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry Cups
6 slices gluten-free bread
2 cups pumpkin and chickpea curry (see recipe below)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Preheat oven to 180° Celsius (conventional oven) or 160° Celsius (fan-forced oven). Grease and line 6 cavities in a half-cup capacity muffin tray.
Separate slices of bread and spread out on a plate. Microwave for approximately 10-20 seconds, or until bread is warm and fairly flexible. Using a rolling-pin, gently roll over each slice of bread until it is approximately 3 or 4 mm thick. Press each slice of bread into a cavity in the muffin tray. Press overlapping edges into one another, but don’t worry too much about holes or cracking in the bread. Just press together so they line the cavity.
Bake for 5 minutes.
In the meantime, roughly mash the curry so that there are no large lumps of pumpkin. Add egg and mix well.
Remove bread cases from oven and spoon in curry mix until cases are filled.
Bake for a further 20 minutes.
Pumpkin and Chickpea Curry
800 g peeled and seeded butternut pumpkin, cut into 2 cm chunks
1 large onion, peeled and trimmed
1 tbs coconut oil
2 x 400 g cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 tbs gluten-free mild curry paste
670 ml coconut milk
Cooked rice, to serve
Put pumpkin into large microwave-safe bowl and cover with plastic film. Microwave on high for 5 minutes.
Halve onion and then thinly slice lengthways.
Heat oil over high heat in wok or large pot. Add the onion and cook for approximately 2 minutes or until translucent. Add cooked pumpkin and cook, stirring regularly, for a further 2 minutes.
Add chickpeas and curry paste. Stir until combined and curry paste is distributed throughout. Add the coconut milk and stir to combine. Bring to the boil and then reduce heat.
Simmer for 20 minutes.
Serve immediately with cooked rice, reserving 2 cups of the curry to make the curry cups.
Serves 4 or 5 people, with enough left over to make the curry cups.