janet @ the taste space

Bengali Squash with Black Chickpeas

In Favourites, Mains (Vegetarian) on February 17, 2015 at 7:04 AM

Bengali Squash with Chickpeas

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

This weekend was a doozy of a cold fest. With the long weekend, I briefly contemplated using the snow in my favour by breaking out the snowshoes… until I realized just how cold it was. With temperatures near -40C with the wind, Rob and I opted to stay inside most the weekend.

We actually had a plan. We needed to study.

We are working to becoming PADI scuba certified. Since our wedding in one of the best places to go scuba diving, we decided to capitalize on the uniqueness of the location. 5 hours of videos, 300 pages of a manual and multiple questions, we spent the majority of the weekend tucked away reading. Next weekend, we will attempt our pool portion of the training. Sadly, outdoor dives here will not resume until June, so we won’t be certified before we go, but it will make it much easier to go scuba diving.


Bengali Squash with Chickpeas


Around this time of year, it is probably a good idea for us to go through our pantries and cold rooms. Please tell me I am not the only one with winter squashes that always seem to linger throughout the winter. No better time to use the winter squash along with a new variety of bean. Especially in curry form.

Susan gifted me these black chickpeas awhile back and I will admit, I prefer regular chickpeas. However, this curry was spectacular. There were a multitude of spices, added at different times to the curry, which created a rather optimally spiced dish. The fennel and panch phoran make this Bengali-inspired and a bit different from our typical curries. The black chickpeas made for a beautiful visual contrast but regular chickpeas could work, too.

How did you stay warm this weekend? Any scuba divers with beginner tips? šŸ™‚

Bengali Squash with Chickpeas

I am sharing this withĀ DebĀ for this weekā€™sĀ Souper SundaysĀ and Extra Veg.

Bengali Squash with Chickpeas
Adapted from Anjum Anand via BBC Food

1 tbspĀ coconutĀ oil, or oil of choice
BigĀ pinch of asafoetida
1 bay leaf
1/2 tspĀ panch phoran (see recipe here)
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
1 small onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 tspĀ ground turmeric
2 tspĀ ground cumin
1 tspĀ ground coriander
Salt, to taste
2 tspĀ grated ginger
500g winterĀ squash, peeled, seeds removed and flesh cut into 1 Ā½-inch chunks (I used a mix of delicata and kabocha– no peeling required!)
1 cup boiling water
2 cups cooked black chickpeas (or regular chickpeas)
1 tspĀ garam masala
1 tspĀ fennel seeds, ground

1. In a large pot over medium heat, heat oil. Once hot, add theĀ asafoetida, bay leaf, panch phoran and chili flakes and fry for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant but do not allow to burn.

2. Stir in the onion and coat it with the spices. Continue to saute for 3 minutes more, or until translucent.

3. Add the turmeric, cumin,m coriander, ginger and salt, to taste. Deglaze with a touch of water to prevent sticking, if needed, and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

4. Carefully place the winter squash in Ā the pot and deglaze with the hot water. Bring the mixture to a boil by increasing the heat, then cover the pan and reduce heat to return to a simmer. Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until the squash is cooked through.

5. Stir in the chickpeas, garam masala and ground fennel seeds. Add additional liquid, if desired. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Continue to cook for 1-2 minutes, until heated through.

Serves 4.

  1. Diving sounds like so much fun! In warmer weather… lol! It’s freezing here too. The low is 12 tomorrow! Soooooo ready to move.

    This looks fabulous! I love kabocha. šŸ™‚

  2. Sounds great! And easy too. I have a bag of black chickpeas that needs using up, so I’m glad to see some inspiration. And you’re definitely not the only one with squashes lingering throughout the winter. I think our CSA butternut squash from December might still be in the back of the pantry… =P

  3. Totally intrigued by this one!

  4. OH yeah! Kala channa is awesome!!

  5. I got PADI certified last year – you are going to love it! I find the only people that have trouble getting the hang of it are people who are very poor swimmers to begin with. It’s pretty easy once you find your buoyancy, just breathe nice and slow and take your time!

    I would LOVE to try black chickpeas! And yes… most of my squashes sit around for a month before I use them. My last spaghetti squash actually started sprouting inside… needless to say, it was fairly bitter by the time we got around to it.

    Enjoy pool diving next weekend!

  6. GIRL! I thought I’d seen it all – but black chickpeas. Can’t wait to find some! Good luck with the certification and try to stay warm. That makes me feel guilty that I’m complaining about 50 degree temps. Heeheee..

  7. I looooove squash. The squash here in Northern Cali isn’t as good as Ontario, Canada, but we make do. I still love it even though it doesn’t get cold here. I try to be creative with it, but tend to make the same type of dishes. Love how different this sounds!
    And yea… I feel so badly for you guys and the horrible, awful weather you are getting this winter. It just plain sucks :/

  8. fantastic dish Janet. I have two butternut squashes caused by over enthusiastic grocery shopping! Thank for sending to Extra Veg

  9. I do like the color that the black chickpeas add against the squash–very pretty! šŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing with Souper Sundays this week.

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