Pumpkin and Chickpea Stew


  • 1 small pumpkin
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 aubergine
  • 3 tomatoes
  • 1-2 tsp harissa, crema di peperoncino or chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt or less
  • 1 tin chickpeas (400 g)
  • (optional) lemon juice and/or black pepper
  • a small bunch of fresh mint

This is just about the tastiest fasting food I know how to make. On days when you're not having oil, you can stew the vegetables in a little vegetable broth.

It goes well with couscous, pita bread or Turkish bread (pide).


Skin the tomatoes, remove the seeds and cut up coarsely.

Cut the pumpkin into thick slices, remove the seeds and the fluff that the seeds hang from, peel the slices. Dice what is left and weigh it. It should weigh about one pound. If it's much more, adjust the other quantities, especially spices. You should never skimp on spices in this recipe.

Dice the zucchini and the aubergine. Leave the skin on or not, as you like. Cut the onions into rings.

Heat the oil in a thick-bottomed pan. Fry the onions for a minute, then add all the spices, the rest of the vegetables (except the chickpeas) and salt. Stir it around until everything is mixed well, very hot and covered in oil, then reduce the heat, cover and let it stew for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally.

While the vegetables are stewing, put the chickpeas into a colander or sieve and rinse them under cold running water. Drain well.

Stir the chickpeas into the stew and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

Taste; adjust the flavour with salt, pepper, harissa, lemon juice, or whatever else it seems to need.