Recipe and Photography: Emma Galloway | A Year in my Real Food Kitchen

Don’t let this recipe’s humble looks deceive you. For beneath the tomatoey goodness lies tender chunks of pumpkin in a sauce rich with saffron, spice and most importantly …  butter! The vinegar-soaked sultanas add a nice piquant note, while the herbed rice not only offers freshness but also mops up all those wonderful juices you won’t want to waste. If you’re vegan or dairy-free, simply omit the butter and increase the olive oil to 4 tablespoons. To bump up the protein, serve with alongside a chickpea or lentil-based dish, or toss cooked chickpeas through the tomato sauce before serving or serve over herbed quinoa instead of rice. Soak the brown rice overnight in the stated water amount before cooking (in the same water) the following day, to improve its digestibility.

Serves 4 | Gluten-free | Vegan option

1½ cups brown rice (I use short grain)
¼ cup natural sultanas, roughly chopped
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
30g butter or ghee
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
a good pinch of saffron
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
pinch ground cinnamon
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ medium Japanese pumpkin, seeds removed, cut into wedges
1 tsp fine sea salt
big handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped + extra to sprinkle
big handful coriander, roughly chopped

To cook brown rice, wash, drain and place into a pan with 2¾ cups cold water, cover with a tight-fitting lid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and simmer, covered, for about 40-45 minutes until the water is absorbed and rice tender. Remove from heat, keeping the lid on, and allow to stand for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, cook the rice in a rice cooker following the manufacturer’s instructions).
Combine sultanas and vinegar and set aside.
Heat butter and olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger and saffron and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds until fragrant. Add cumin, coriander, cinnamon, stir 10 seconds before adding tomatoes. Cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the juices have started to release from the tomatoes. Add pumpkin, salt and 1 cup water. Cover and bring to the boil before reducing heat to a simmer, then cook for 10 minutes. Remove lid, give it all a good stir and cook for a further 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. If you find the sauce is still a little too runny and the pumpkin is cooked, carefully transfer the pumpkin to a bowl, doing your best not to break it all up. Return sauce to heat and simmer for another 5-8 minutes until thick, taste and adjust seasoning if needed, then pour over the pumpkin.
When ready to serve, mix the chopped parsley and coriander through rice. Serve mounds of rice topped with pumpkin and its sauce. Drain sultanas (reserve vinegar for another use, such as to add to a vinaigrette) and scatter over pumpkin along with a little extra chopped parsley.

A Year In My Real Food Kitchen

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