Halloween recipe #3: Baby Pumpkins filled with chipotle, black bean chilli with toasted coconut and coriander rice

Baby Pumpkin filled with chipotle, black bean chilli with toasted coconut and coriander rice 
(this recipe is vegan and wheat free)

I made this for our daily special main yesterday but I got the idea from our Sous Chef, Marcelo Navarro, who told me about a dish popular in his native Brasil, in which they empty pumpkins and fill them with a coconut curry. I think the nice fresh flavour of the rice and pumpkin married well with the smoky chipotle flavour. This dish is a little labour intensive for making at home but it makes an impressive dish for a special meal or a dinner party.

Our pumpkin man, Greg, has supplied us with lots of beautiful little baby pumpkins. His advice with small pumpkins is not to peel them as the flesh loses flavour so just take the tops and bottoms off and scoop out the flesh. They are really easy to peel on the plate (though the skin is edible and sometimes quite tasty). If you cant get these baby pumpkins you can just use one medium sized pumpkin or alternatively use the bottom part of some butternut squashes and save the rest of the squash for another meal.

This recipe serves 6-8  for a main, depending on the size of your pumpkins. You might have a bit of chilli left over or you could choose to by not making so many pumpkins as the chilli make a lovely meal in itself. Just pop it in the fridge for another meal. It also makes a nice starter if you skip the rice and use slightly smaller pumpkins.

(recipe by Sarah Wasserman)
First prepare your pumpkins. Top and tail and scoop out all the seeds. Then brush the pumpkins (inside and out) with seasoned olive oil mixed with chopped garlic. Roast these in the oven (180c) for about 20 minutes.  

For the Chilli:
1x can black beans
1x can chopped tomatoes
1x diced white onion
200ml water
3 Tbsp tomato puree
1 Tbsp chopped garlic
2 Tbsp chipotle chilli (this is a smokey flavoured chilli which we get from the excellent Cool Chilli Co in Borough Market. Ancho chilli is a good substitute and failing that add more smoked paprika)
1 Tbsp brown sugar (I use muscavado but it doesnt really matter)
1/2 Tsp cinnamon
1/2 Tsp smoked paprika
1 Courgette diced
3 Sticks celery diced
5 Tbsp chopped coriander 

To make the Chilli:
1) Roast the diced courgettes in oven till cooked but still firm and green.
2) Saute the onions in olive oil for a couple of minutes (not too hot) then add the garlic. Turn down the heat and add the diced celery and saute for another few minutes. Then add all the spice including the chipotle and cook out for 2 minutes.
3) Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, sugar, water and cook for 20-30 minutes.
4) Take of the heat. Add the black beans, courgette and coriander.

Fill the pumpkins with chilli and return to an oven (preheated to 180c) till heated through (about 15 minutes).

For the rice:
1) 250g basmati rice (thoroughly washed)
2) 1/2 can coconut milk
3) 100g dessicated coconut (toasted in the oven. Couple of minutes at 180c ought to do it)
4) Green chilli (not diced but thinly sliced)
5) 5 Tbsp chopped coriander

To make the rice:
(I'm sure most of you know how to cook basmati but including it here just in case. Timings are for easy cook basmati but for regular increase cooking time by ten minutes)
1) Heat a pan with a couple of tablespoons of oil. Add the chilli stir and then add the rice. Stir through the oil and then then cook for about 1 minute.
2) Add the coconut milk and then enough water to cover the rice by about 1/2cm. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Take off the stove and steam for five minutes.
3) Add the toasted coconut and chopped coriander.

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