Veggin’ out

Chickpea pumpkin coconut curry

In last month’s column, I admit, I started off complaining a bit about the weather. It was the very beginning of fall and the temperatures were in the 80s. Many of you may have enjoyed the unseasonably warm weather, but I was and am ready for true fall temperatures — which finally has arrived! Yay! October SHOULD be cool, if you ask me. Who ever heard of trick-or-treating in shorts and a tank top? Ha!

So, in October, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? For me, it’s pumpkins! Not only for cooking, but also for decorating and carving. Pumpkins are everywhere this month, helping us prepare for and celebrate Halloween next week! Do you have your costume ready?

My recipe this month blends a bunch of my favorite flavors together — of course pumpkin, but also curry, coconut and chickpeas! It’s a warm, cozy dish to enjoy on these — finally — cool fall days.

Chickpea pumpkin coconut curry

(Adapted from www.emilieeats.com)

Serves: 4-6

Olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup tomatoes, chopped

1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree

1 15-ounce can or chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (light or full-fat)

1 cup water

1/2 lime (optional)

In a large pot — or I like to use my wok — heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat.

Once hot, add onion. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until onion begins to soften — don’t let it burn. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute.

Add carrots and tomatoes; stir to combine. Add more oil to the pan if necessary. Partially cover the pot; cook for 5-8 minutes, until carrots become slightly tender.

Add pumpkin, chickpeas, curry powder, ginger, salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Stir until combined.

Pour coconut milk and water into the pot and mix well.

Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to let it simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the carrots are fully tender.

Serve over rice or other grain of your choice. Squeeze some lime over each serving if you like.

Stellfox is the Lifestyle editor at the Sun-Gazette.

Her award-winning column is published on the fourth Sunday of each month in the Lifestyle section.

She can be reached at jstellfox@sun­ gazette.com.