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Cara’s pumpkin and chickpea curry

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  • Chef: Cara
  • Type: Caribbean
  • Serves: 4
  • Cost: £6 for whole dish

Our recipe kit this month was created by one of our food ambassadors, Cara, as part of celebrating Black History Month. This dish was also part of a spread at the launch event of our Healthy Living kitchen.


Cara says: ‘I was brought up as a vegetarian until the age of about five with the Rastafarian influence. In the Caribbean there are lots of Asian and African cultures – cuisines fuse together. This dish has Asian, Jamaican and Trinidadian cultures all mixed into one pot.  In this dish, there are Indian influences- like chana masala (chickpeas) and then I brought my own twist with ingredients like scotch bonnet. My sister and I cook as a team at many events including the Notting Hill carnival and this vegetarian dish is usually the most popular as everyone can eat it. We’re now going international as we’ve been asked to cook it at festivals in Ghana!’



1 sweet potato or 1 Ugandan sweet potato (whichever your preference)

200 grams (when peeled) of pumpkin

1 pepper – (any colour or mixture of half red and half green)

1 white potato

1 carrot

100 grams of spinach

1 Onion

1 tin of chickpeas

Handful of fresh parsley

Handful of fresh coriander

Few sprigs of thyme

1 scotch bonnet pepper

1 tin of coconut milk

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 tablespoon of curry powder

1 thumb size piece of fresh ginger

Black pepper and salt to taste

Half a stock cube or 1 teaspoon of stock powder

2 tablespoons of oil



  1. Wash, peel and prepare all your vegetables. Peel and chop the white potato, sweet potato and pumpkin into inch pieces. Cut the peppers into thin slices. Cut the carrots widthways into cm thick circles. Finely chop the onion. Peel and grate the ginger or finely chop. Chop the stalks of the coriander and parsley and set aside the leaves for garnish.
  2. Heat the oil in a medium sized saucepan on a medium to low heat. Once the oil is hot, add the grated ginger, fresh thyme, parsley and coriander stalks, curry powder and turmeric, stir to create a paste. After one minute add the chopped onion, stir and cook for about 5 minutes until they soften.
  3. Add the white and sweet potatoes, the carrot and pumpkin.
  4. Mix the stock powder/cube with 400 millitres of hot water in a jug. Then add to the pot alongside the pepper, stir well. Season with salt and pepper. Increase the heat to medium.
  5. Drain the chickpeas and add these to the curry, stir and cook for about 5 minutes.
  6. Add the coconut milk. For the scotch bonnet if you want it less spicy, leave it whole (but remember to take it out at the end). For more spice, thinly slice the scotch bonnet (you can leave the seeds in, but they are very spicy!). Add your preferred option to the pot.
  7. Cook for another 10 minutes and check to see if your potatoes and pumpkin are cooked. Chop the spinach and stir this into the curry once the vegetables have cooked. Cook for a further 2 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice and garnish with the fresh coriander and parsley.