Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin Hummus

Autumn is my favourite time of the year here in El Al-Gharb. It´s not just that the air is crisper and the temperatures are refreshingly cooler after a sweltering summer, but also for the bounty of gorgeous produce that is so plentiful. Every market stand proudly displays gorgeous apples, mangoes,cabbage, sweet potatoes,pomegranates,quince and mountains of pumpkins and butternut squash crying out to be taken home and enjoyed.I´ve made jam and vats of soup but what better way to enjoy a pumpkin than using it to make a Moorish hummus.
This one with pumpkin is my new favourite. The pumpkin is such a nice departure from your typical hummus and I really love the flavour of the roasted garlic and chilli squash.It looks like autumn and its fragrant spices and great flavours with deep earthy tones certainly say so.Whatever you do do not be tempted by canned pumpkin, this recipe must have fresh pumpkin or squash.

Moroccan Spiced Pumpkin Hummus
This colourful and spice-happy take on hummus will turn your halloween head and give your taste buds a wake up call.  If you prefer great flavor without the heat, just leave out the chilli. Serve with soft rustic bread,bruschetta or ideally regañás, pipas or other artesan Spanish biscuits.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2-3 dried red chillies crumbled 
1 heaped teaspoon coriander seeds2 large garlic cloves, kept whole and unpeeled
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon smoked pimenton (paprika)
1 400g can chickpeas
2 cups  fresh roasted butternut squash or pumpkin
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped pistachios, for garnish(optional)

Bash the coriander seeds and chillies in a pestle and mortar. Put the cubed squash and garlic cloves unpeeled, in a bowl then sprinkle with extra virgin olive oil. season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the coriander chilli mix over the squash and turn well to coat.Tip into a small roasting tray and cover with a dampened piece of parchment paper. Roast for 45 minutes at 200C. Remove the paper and leave to cool.When cool squeeze the roasted garlic cloves into the squash and discard the skins. Mash the garlic and squash together.
Heat the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the ginger, cinnamon, allspice, turmeric, cayenne, and sugar and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.  Stir in the chickpeas, then remove from the heat.  Stir in the roasted garlic and pumpkin, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor and process until smooth.
Transfer to a shallow serving bowl and sprinkle the pistachios on top.  Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate until needed. The flavour improves if it is allowed to sit for a few hours or even better overnight.


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