Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Vegan pumpkin and broad bean pilav

I just made this up today based on a few different things I was craving, and it turned out surprisingly tasty, so I thought I'd share it with you. 

I love risottos and pilavs - basically, it's baby food for grownups, so comforting! Also - WOOHOO!!! - pumpkin season is here! And, okay, it is very much not broadbean season, but they're delicious, so I cheated with a pack of frozen ones. 

If you do not use brown basmati rice for this, you probably need to drastically shorten the cooking time or it will turn to mush - check the packet instructions of the rice you are using. If you do need a shorter cooking time for the rice, get the pumpkin in the oven first (step 4), and then proceed with the rest of the recipe.

If you would like a pumpkin desert to follow your pumpkin entrĂ©e (and why would you not!?), do yourself a huuuuuge favour and head on over to Allyson's wonderful blog Manifest:Vegan, and try her amazing Chocolate Acorn Squash Baked Custard. I couldn't find an acorn squash, so I used a regular little orange pumpkin in stead. I'm not gluten-intolerant and didn't have sorghum or buckwheat flour, so I used regular wholemeal wheat flour in stead - worked perfectly.   


Pumpkin and broad bean pilav
(serves 3-4)

  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 200g brown basmati rice, thoroughly rinsed
  • large pinch of saffron, about 50 strands
  • 1 veg stock cube
  • 1 small pumpkin (ca. 1 kg, 700g when deseeded and peeled), peeled and cut into 2x2 cm cubes
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 300g frozen broad beans
  • salt and pepper to taste
preheat oven to 180C 

1) Fry the onions in a large (ca. 4 litre) pan in 1tbsp of the olive oil over a medium heat until it is turning translucent, about 5 minutes, then add garlic

2) After a further five minutes, once the onion and garlic are just starting to brown, add the basmati rice and briefly toss with the onions and garlic

3) Add about 750 ml of water and the saffron strands to the pan, and crumble in the stock cube. Bring to the boil, then turn heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes

4) Meanwhile, toss the pumpkin with the remaining olive oil, some salt, and the allspice in an oven dish, and arrange in a single layer. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes.

5) Give the rice a stir, and scatter the broadbeans on top of the rice. Spread the chunks of pumpkin on top of the beans, cover the pan, and cook for a further 10 minutes, or until the beans are fully defrosted and heated.  

Season to taste (I enjoyed a good twist of black pepper with mine), and presto!