Chilli Pumpkin Ragout and Cherry Clafoutis

pumpkin ragout

I don’t like pumpkin. The leverage required to slice through one says missing fingers and the name, because of joke I was once told, says hillbilly coupling.
As a result, this recipe has sat in my recipe book, undisturbed, for a good decade or so. It’s quite a good recipe – vegan from when I knew vegans. I’m sure they’re still around, we just don’t hang out anymore. I went my meaty way and they went theirs. Maybe I do know some and they’ve been keeping it from me. I obviously feel quite bad about this and maybe my circle of friends is too narrow. Hello! Vegans! Any of you like to be my friend? Maybe I should settle for pescetarians.
I think the recipe is from a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook, or maybe the Enchanted Broccoli Forest or something.
The dish is a boon for those who would like to practice their dry roasting skills. The total skill set being – the ability to stand at a stovetop for a few minutes without wandering off to check email or see what’s on telly; and gentle shaking (of the pan).

1.5kg pumpkin – chopped into chunks; 1tbs cumin seeds; 2tsp oregano; 3/4 cup peeled almonds; 5tbs sesame seeds; 1 onion-chopped; 2 cloves garlic – crushed; 2 small dried chillies – chopped; 250ml of tomato juice; handful of coriander leaves

Dry roast the cumin seeds in a frypan until fragrant then add the oregano and continue for another minute. Grind in a mortar and pestle.
Sautee the onions in oil until soft, add chilli and garlic, and finally the organo/cumin seeds.
Add the pumpkin and tomato juice, bring to a boil, cover, and simmer until the pumpkin is soft.
Dry roast the almond and sesame seeds seperately, and grind finely.
Leave a little aside for garnish, add the rest with the coriander to the pumpkin, stir and heat through.
Garnish with ground sesame and almond and a little cream (or not).
You can use gazpacho instead of tomato juice if you happen to have some left over in the fridge.

And that’s it.

cherry clafoutis

I’ve always wanted to make a cherry clafoutis. No particular reason, I just like the sound of it. Same reason I’ve always wanted to go to Djibouti. It’s good value. It’s as easy as pancakes. Yorkshire pud without the dripping. You don’t even have to pit the cherries – the French don’t. Take pleasure in the reduction of the workload and that any guest who doesn’t thoughtfully enjoy a slice with sufficient care may lose a tooth or choke to death. A welcome change for the underappreciated kitchen worker. It’s so easy I’m not even going to pretend I did anything other than follow this recipe and decide to use the frypan because I used the pie thingy for the last post.

AND I think you should check out Saffy’s breakfast peach clafoutis .



  1. Anonymous’s avatar

    I’m with you on pumpkin. Don’t have it often cos I can’t stand the thought of prepping it, especially a whole pumpkin.

    Clafoutis, on the other hand.. mmmmmmm…

  2. Kate’s avatar

    I love me some pumpkin. Butternut is pretty easy to chop up, so that’s the one I use.

    I used to be a vegan, it was great except for the anemia.

    (I still have some vegan friends tho: would you like to share them with me?)

  3. Anthony’s avatar

    CWa whole on
    Yeah. And don’t forget about the ridges that you can’t get the peeler into.

    Butternut looks kinda rude so I usually go for sweet potato.

    I never knew. Sure, I don’t think I could eat them all myself.

  4. Anna Winter’s avatar

    Well I’m a pisca…pesca…

    I eat fish and plants. You can cook for me.

    Tell us the joke, please?

  5. Anthony’s avatar

    Hokay but I think my ideal vegetarian is a porkatarian.

    Can’t remember it exactly but it goes kinda:
    Q. What do they do in [insert hillbilly state] for Halloween/Thanksgiving?
    A. Pumpkin

    Thank you and goodnight.

  6. The Daily Magnet’s avatar

    Hi Spicey, I like the look of the clafoutis, although it sounds a bit like something you might need penicillen for. It looks easy, I’m thinking Christmas.

    I have replaced most of the lawn in my back yard with pumpkins – less allergies, they keep the water in the soil super well, and you wake up to a sea of yellow flowers – totally apart from the self-sufficiency factor. Pumpkins are great.

  7. Gracianne’s avatar

    You know, some French do pit the cherries. They are supposed to be more tasty when cooked whole but it is quite dangerous really.
    I used to have vegan friends too, a long time ago, I must have lost them on the way.

  8. Anthony’s avatar

    Now you mention it.
    I’m thinking fabulous idea for christmas.
    I’m feeling lawn owners are going the way of smokers.

    Dangerous? But this is a country that smokes unfiltered cigarettes, has the Paris to Dakar, and lives next to Germany. You must be disappointed in the pitters.

    I think they collapsed from anaemia (not that there’s anything wrong with that).

  9. Jeanne’s avatar

    Oh thanks for that joke – I have visuals I never wanted!!

    Apparently if you want the added cherry pit flavour without the gap-toothed hilbilly look, you can also pit the cherries and infuse the pits on the cream before cooling, straining and using the cream as per normal in the recipe. Not that this is ever going to happen in MY kitchen!!

  10. herhimnbryn’s avatar

    Hallo, a lurker here. I’ve been reading for a while now, but thought I ought to de-lurk! I have put a link to your blog on mine, as I have enjoyed your words.
    many thanks.

  11. Anthony’s avatar

    I try and think of Daisy Duke and her long lost sister that amzingly enough looks just like Asia Argento.

    That’s a hoot’n a holler of a good idea.

    Good to have you out of the closet and welcome to the exciting world of blogging.

  12. Vero’s avatar

    G’day, I’m a friend of Gracianne, and she’s saying such sweet things about you, I couldn’t help but come and see… Your clafoutis looks terrific, the taste is indeed much better with the pits… And know what’s really great about them? The spitting contest! (French elegance!!):-)

  13. Anthony’s avatar

    And G’day to you too Vero. Gracianne is very kind, especially considering all I do is bother her with questions before she’s had her morning coffee.
    I think I’ll stick with unpitted, it’s very elegantly lazy, I might also find a friend with a high balcony on a busy street.
    (PS I love your Caribbean chicken)

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