Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita

Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita is literally comfort in a bowl. I know you may be thinking, “I’ve definitely seen other food bloggers with recipes for curry chickpeas,” and you’re right! However, none of them are as good as mine. I say that humbly, but also based in fact. Many other recipes I came across when doing research for this recipe included hard-to-find spices (which aren’t practical for all home cooks), added water when the recipe doesn’t really need any, and so on. The balance of flavor, heat, acid, texture, and overall taste of this curry is truly amazing. Plus, it’s made using ingredients that are found in most pantries, which is what we all need right now. My protein-obsessed boyfriend didn’t even complain that this is a vegetarian main dish. It’s delicious. Bonus? It’s vegan if you substitute the Greek yogurt in the raita for a vegan alternative.

Ingredients needed to make Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita

I like to serve this curry over brown rice, but it would also do well over quinoa, cauliflower rice, or just eaten on its own. It’s easy to substitute whatever grain or grain-alternative base you want for this recipe. In addition to the rice, you’ll need the following to make the curry:

The cucumber raita, while not necessary, is an absolutely delicious compliment to the slight heat of the curry. It adds a cooling, fresh element that leaves you with a really balanced bite every time. Here’s what you’ll need to make the raita:

  • Cucumber
  • Plain Greek yogurt
  • Curry powder
  • Ground cayenne pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Salt

Tools used to make Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita

The tools needed to make this dish are as follows: a sharp chef’s knife for chopping, a large cutting board, a Dutch oven or large, deep-sided sauté pan, a wooden spoon, a mixing bowl, and measuring spoons. It’s fairly minimal, and the bulk of the dish is made in one pot, making for easy clean up!

How to make Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas with Cucumber Raita

This curry begins by sweating the onions with garlic, ginger, and all of those warm spices. The entire process takes about 6 minutes, but it will make your kitchen smell incredible. Once the onions have sweat and the other aromatics have been added, you’ll add the chickpeas, coconut milk, and pumpkin. Some brands of canned pumpkin are thicker than others, so if you need to add 1-2 tablespoons of water at this point, you may. Use your judgement. The goal is to simmer this curry long enough to create a thick, saucy final product that feels like it’s been cooking all day, when it really only takes 15-20 minutes. You’ll stir to combine, then reduce the heat to low and allow the curry to do its thing.

While the curry simmers, I like to make the raita. It’s really simple to pull together and takes the curry to the next level, in my opinion. As I mentioned above, it’s easy to make this dish completely vegan by substitution the Greek yogurt for a non-dairy alternative.

Start by peeling your cucumber and halving lengthwise. Then, scoop out the seeds and cut it into a very small dice. Add the cucumber to a bowl, along with the Greek yogurt, spices, and cilantro. It’s important to add salt after tasting, as some brands of Greek yogurt can be saltier than others. Salt the raita to your liking, then transfer to the fridge until the curry is finished.

Serve the curry over brown rice, quinoa, cauliflower rice, or whatever other base you’d like, then top with a dollop of raita and extra cilantro. This dish is also awesome paired with some fresh naan or pita bread. It’s so warming and stick-to-your-ribs, as they say!

Looking for other comforting dinners for colder-weather nights?

Try these other recipes from The Ardent Cook!

Pineapple Chipotle Chicken Enchiladas with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce

Roasted Apricot Chicken

Herbed Chicken Tortellini Soup

Recipe Ingredients

For the Curried Pumpkin Chickpeas

2 tbsp olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-inch piece ginger, minced

1 tsp curry powder

¾ tsp ground cumin

½ tsp ground turmeric 

⅛ tsp cayenne, or more if desired (I used closer to ¼ tsp)

2 (15oz) cans chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 (13.5oz) can full-fat coconut milk

1 (13.5oz) can pumpkin puree

1 tsp salt, plus more to taste

Juice of ½ lime, plus wedges for serving

Cilantro, for serving

Cucumber raita, for serving (recipe below)

Brown rice, for serving

For the Cucumber Raita

1 medium cucumber, peeled and seeded, diced very small

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

⅛ tsp cayenne 

¼ tsp curry powder

2 tbsp cilantro, very finely chopped

Salt, to taste

Recipe Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil in a dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook 4-5 minutes until translucent. Add the garlic, ginger, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, and cayenne, and cook for an additional 30-45 seconds until very fragrant.
  2. Add the chickpeas, coconut milk, and pumpkin. If the consistency is too thick (some canned pumpkin options are thicker than others), you may add water 1 tablespoon at a time, however keep in mind you want the final product to be thick like a slow-simmered curry. 
  3. Turn the heat to low and allow the chickpeas to simmer for 30-45 minutes, until they are very fragrant and the consistency is as thick as you’d like it. Continue to simmer if a thicker consistency is desired. 
  4. While the chickpeas simmer, make the raita. Combine the cucumber, yogurt, cayenne, curry powder, and chopped cilantro in a mixing bowl. Season with salt to taste. 
  5. When the chickpeas are finished simmering, remove from the heat and stir in the lime juice. Season one final time for salt.
  6. Serve the curry over brown or basmati rice, then top with a dollop of the raita and additional cilantro, if desired. Leftovers keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.

Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens

Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens is a quicker, easier take on a creamy risotto. Ditch the constant stirring and broth-adding that is required of risotto and replace it with earthy wild mushrooms, nutty farro, and the perfect salty punch of parmesan in every bite. I love this recipe because it highlights one of my new-found favorite ingredients: wild mushrooms harvested by my boyfriend’s sister and brother-in-law. They are foraging extraordinaires and have taught me so much about mushrooms and their amazing properties. Did you know mushrooms form intricate communication networks that cover miles in order to signal other mushrooms of impending danger?

I wasn’t always a mushroom lover, but I’ve really been enjoying experimenting with them in my recipes. I hope you love this recipe as much as I do!

Ingredients needed to make Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens

This recipe calls for wild mushrooms. I was lucky enough to score some maitake, or “hen of the woods,” from my boyfriend’s sister and brother-in-law, which is what I used here. You could use any variety of mushroom you like or that is available locally in-season. Other great options would be oyster mushrooms, chanterelles, or morels. If you aren’t experienced at foraging, I would not recommend going out into your own backyard and pulling up whatever mushroom you see. Be sure to ask an expert to identify any mushrooms you find, or visit local farm stands for the freshest options available for purchase. In addition to the mushrooms, here’s what else you’ll need:

  • Butter or olive oil
  • Yellow onion
  • Garlic
  • Fresh rosemary
  • Fresh thyme
  • Dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc
  • Farro
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Milk or cream
  • Salt and pepper
  • Microgreens

Many of the ingredients in this recipe are fresh, but I have linked a few of my staple pantry items that you’ll want to have on hand for this recipe. Also, as a quick note, if you are looking for a quick recipe, you’ll likely want to use pearled farro (linked above). “Pearling” is a process by which some of the bran is removed from the farro, which in turn removes some of the nutrients and fiber, but makes for a much faster cook time. If you don’t care about the time, I’d recommend this imported farro brand or this organic farro from Bob’s Red Mill.

This recipe uses wild maitake mushrooms, but any wild variety will work!

Tools used to make Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens

Because of the varying times required to cook farro (depending on what kind you buy), I call for pre-cooked farro in this recipe. Farro is a great grain to cook at the beginning of the week to use in loads of different meals just as you would rice or quinoa, so I’ll often do that on Sundays and have it ready in the fridge for easy dinners. I’d recommend cooking your farro ahead of time or give yourself extra time before starting on the mushrooms, which take very little time in comparison. You’ll need a medium-large pot to cook the farro, such as this one.

In addition, you’ll need a large skillet big enough to cook the mushrooms and then toss everything together at the end. I used my favorite Le Creuset cast-iron, but any non-stick skillet will work. You’ll also want a large cutting board, measuring cups and spoons, a well-sharpened chef’s knife, like this one, and a wooden spoon for stirring. That’s it!

How to make Wild Mushroom Farro with Parmesan and Microgreens

If you cook your farro ahead of time, this recipe takes all of 20 minutes. If not, don’t sweat it, just be prepared for a little extra time spent cooking! Begin by trimming any slimy areas from the mushrooms and brushing off excess dirt. If you can, try to avoid rinsing the mushroom as this prevents them from caramelizing (they’ll retain too much water and steam rather than caramelize). Next, chop the mushrooms into roughly 1-2 inch pieces while you melt your butter in a skillet.

Add the onions, salt, and pepper, and cook until the onions are translucent. Then, you’ll stir in the mushrooms and cook for another 5 minutes or so. You want the mushrooms to be softened, but not mushy. Add the garlic, rosemary, and thyme, and stir to coat the mushrooms and onions.

The best step? Adding the wine. This step is crucial in order to get all the caramelized bits from the mushrooms and onions up from the bottom of the pan. If you don’t care to cook with wine, you can easily substitute chicken or vegetable broth! Just make sure to use your wooden spoon to scrape up the goodness from the bottom of the pan as you add the liquid.

You’ll let this simmer on medium-low heat until all of the wine has evaporated and you’re left with delicious caramelized mushrooms. At this point, you’ll add your cooked farro and allow it to warm with the mushrooms for a minute or so. Then, add the parmesan, milk or cream, and a pinch more of salt and pepper. The goal is to have a light creamy coating, but this isn’t going to be a thick cream sauce by any means. If you want more of a thick cream sauce, you can certainly add more milk or cream and let it reduce slightly over low heat for a few minutes. I prefer just a touch of creaminess to really let the flavor of the mushrooms and farro shine.

That’s it! You’ll sprinkle on a handful of microgreens at the end for a little fresh bite, and serve immediately. It’s so delicious paired with a glass of wine and pair of cozy PJs, but elegant enough to serve for dinner- if we ever get to host dinner parties again!

Looking for other comforting vegetarian dishes from The Ardent Cook?

Ponzu Greens and Grains Bowl

Creamy Green Goddess Pasta

Potato, Leek, and Corn Chowder

Recipe Ingredients

2 tbsp butter or olive oil

½ pound wild mushrooms, such as maitake or oyster

½ medium yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

½ cup dry white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc

2 cups cooked farro

⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tbsp milk or cream

Salt and pepper, to taste

1-2 handfuls bitter microgreens, such as micro arugula, for serving

Recipe Instructions

  1. Prepare the mushrooms by trimming any slimy areas and brushing off excess dirt. Roughly chop the mushrooms into 1-2 inch pieces while you melt the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the onions, along with a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until onions turn translucent. Add the mushrooms and cook for 5, until they are just softened. Stir in the garlic, rosemary, and thyme, then season again with a pinch of salt and pepper. 
  3. Pour the wine into the pan, stirring constantly to scrape up any caramelized bits from the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow the wine to evaporate entirely, stirring occasionally. 
  4. Once the mushrooms are finished cooking and the wine has evaporated, stir in the cooked farro (make sure the farro is warmed before adding). Add the parmesan, milk or cream, and a pinch more of salt and pepper. Fold to combine until the cheese has melted and everything is incorporated. The final dish should be creamy, but not overly wet. Top with microgreens and an additional sprinkling of parmesan, and serve warm. This dish stands up on its own as a vegetarian main alongside a salad, or pair it with roast chicken and vegetables for a comforting fall dish. Enjoy!

There may be affiliate links in this post! By purchasing a product I recommend, I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love and use myself. Thank you for your continued support of The Ardent Cook, it does not go unnoticed.