pumpkin chickpea soup & seasons change

When you pay attention, even the constants in life are changing.  —Brooke Semple

autumn leavesSometimes we just want to remain still, within our comfort zone, holding on to what we know, but change is inevitable and perhaps autumn is the best time of the year to see how beautiful it can be. We unknowingly and haphazardly fall in love. We overcome unbearable tragedy and learn to live again. We move to a new country and one day wake up to the realization that it has become home.

We arrived in Canada in the month of November in 1974, just in time to see the golden leaves disappear under the snow. Come spring, we witnessed life renew, buds and blossoms, followed by the summer heat and then back to where we started. And all the while, a little unknowingly, a little hesitatingly, we had changed too. Food is just one example. While we mostly cooked and ate Indian food, we had to accept that certain ingredients were just not available here in Canada at that time and thus, we had to adapt our curries, as well as our tastebuds.

This Pumpkin Chickpea Soup recipe is based on a Gujarati specialty called “Doodhi Channa”. Doodhi is the Gujarati word for a type of squash called long squash (also called bottle gourd or lauki). Channa are chickpeas and in this recipe refers to the split desi type. Back in the 70s, I’m certain my parents would’ve paid a sizable portion of one week’s worth of groceries for just one long squash but back then, long squash were no where to be found. Pumpkins, on the other hand, were abundant come autumn.

Each new season grows from the leftovers from the past. That is the essence of change, and change is the basic law. —Hal Borland

Present-day, long squash is gaining popularity in North America and can be readily found in the marketplaces of larger cities… change, after all, is inevitable.

pumpkin channa dal | conifères & feuilluspumpkin channa dal | conifères & feuilluspumpkin channa dal | conifères & feuilluspumpkin channa dal | conifères & feuillus

Though I’ve included both recipes below, the photos above show the pumpkin version. Also, I scale back on the spices in the pumpkin version.

Pumpkin Chickpea Soup

(yields about 8 servings)

  • 400 g (about 2 cups) desi chickpeas, washed, soaked 1 hour and drained
  • about 600 g sugar pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small green chili, minced (optional)
  • 3 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 1500 g (about 6 cups) cold water or vegetable stock
  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, add oil.
  2. Add garlic and chili and cook for 1 minute.
  3. Add drained chickpeas and give it a mix.
  4. Stir in pumpkin.
  5. Add salt, spices and water (or stock).
  6. Bring to a boil.
  7. Once boiling, cover and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Add more salt if required.

 

Doodhi Channa Dal 

(yields about 8 servings)

  • 400 g (About 2 cups) desi chickpeas, washed, soaked 1 hour and drained
  • about 800 g long squash (or bottle gourd), peeled and chopped into chunks
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small green chili, minced
  • 3 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 3 tsp cumin powder
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • ½ tsp red chili powder
  • 1000 g (about 4 cups) cold water
  1. In a large pot, over medium heat, add oil.
  2. Add mustard and cumin seeds and allow to crackle.
  3. Add garlic and chili and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add drained chickpeas and give it a mix.
  5. Stir in squash.
  6. Add salt, spices and water.
  7. Bring to a boil.
  8. Once boiling, cover and allow to simmer for 25-30 minutes.
  9. Add more salt if required.

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14 thoughts on “pumpkin chickpea soup & seasons change

  1. Both of these recipes sound delicious! I haven’t seen long squash in Montana, but pumpkins abound! I can’t wait to try this recipe. I loved reading about your family’s journey and transition to life in Canada. What an immense change, and also an opportunity to recognize and appreciate how family traditions and flavors can bridge continents and cultures.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. oh boy, this soup looks all kind of delicious!! Can it be made with lentils, is there a version of it? Because I tend to add red lentils to my squash soups everytime and love the taste of the two ingredients together.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Ruth. This is a very versatile recipe, I think it would work with red lentils as well, only I think you should add them in a bit later in the cooking process as they don’t take long to cook and perhaps they don’t require being soaked beforehand either. Let me know how it turns out.

      Like

    1. Wonderful! I use less water for the original recipe as it is meant to be a curry. You can add less than what I use, but you will still need some amount to ensure the chickpeas cook. Let me know how it turns out.

      Like

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