A vegan street food inspired recipe featuring gluten free chickpea flour wraps, kabocha hummus and a mix of fried aubergines.
Meet kabocha squash, the nuttier and firmer fleshed of the autumn squashes with an impossibly tough skin and a taste reminiscent of sweet chestnuts.
It’s quite possibly by my favourite of all the squashes. Mostly because its fairly rare round these parts and only appears at the farmers markets or proper grocery stores for a few months of each year. I’m definitely of the belief that if something is too readily available year round it looses its appeal (other than chocolate of course).
On first sighting of the kabocha squash at Brockley Market last weekend I immediately lobbed one into my bag (after paying obviously), and decided straight away to make a hummus with the flesh as I had done this successfully with sister butternut some 3 years back. I was not put off by the tougher not-possible-to-peel skin of the kabocha because thankfully it can be easily ignored when you roast the thing whole in the oven. No hacksaw required.
I was recently sent the Nutri Ninja to trial and used it to make the kabocha hummus. I flavoured my hummus with baharat spice, caraway seeds and lime juice. Baharat is a warming Egyptian mix usually consisting of paprika, black pepper, coriander, cloves, cardamom, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, allspice and chilli. If you don’t have any then substituting for plain cumin will work just as well. The caraway carries quite a specific taste but I won’t be offended if you leave it out.
I pondered for ages what to serve with the hummus. Be lazy and blog along with some carrot sticks, or be a bit more inventive and serve the squash in something. Thanks to the help of pinterest I found this image and recipe and even though my dish is very different, all credit to the idea of spreading the hummus in a wrap filling it with delicious delights then rolling it up to eat cutlery free as a street food inspired treat.
I’ve made chickpea wraps before, and they are incredible simple using just chickpea flour + water + salt cooked up like a pancake. The key to wraps that don’t fall apart without the gluten (or an egg) is to allow the mix plenty of time to soak/ferment. As with any pancake mix the first one is usually a bit rubbish while the pan heats up so be patient!
In keeping with my recent desire to explore more vegetarian (and vegan) cuisine, I opted to fill my wraps with flavour friends of squash – a mix of mostly fried aubergines, a few sliced mushrooms then the obligatory heroes of food photography pomegranate seeds and fresh herbs. You could easily use some pulled lamb, or chicken instead and it would match the flavours perfectly.
Once cooled, you can even roll up the wraps in film or foil and pop into your lunchbox for the next day, as I did. A pretty spectacular lunch offering indeed!
- 80g chickpea (gram) flour
- 160mls water
- pinch salt
- coconut oil to fry
- 1 ~ 750g Kabocha Squash, whole
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 1 Tbs tahini paste
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 1 Tbs lime juice
- 1 tsp baharat spice
- ½ tsp caraway seeds
- 1 aubergine, sliced into £1 thick slices
- 4 chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 spring onions, finely sliced
- handful coriander and dill leaves,
- pomegranate seeds
- lime sliced
- olive oil
- First make up your wrap batter. Whisk together your chickpea flour with water and a pinch of salt. Cover and leave sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour, or ideally overnight.
- Next roast your squash. Pre-heat oven to 200C. Poke some holes in the skin of the kabocha with a skewer, then roast in the oven for 1 hour, or until the sides have started to collapse in on them selves. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, before slicing open. Discard the seeds, then scoop out the flesh and add to a blender or food processor. Discard the skin.
- Add the garlic, olive oil, tahini, lemon and lime juice, baharat, caraway seeds and salt to the blender, and blitz until you have a smooth hummus. Taste and adjust as necessary. Scoop into a bowl and chill until ready to use.
- Next you can prepare your filling, warm a tsp of olive oil in a medium sized frying pan and fry your aubergine and mushroom slices in batches until browned on both sides (around 10 minutes in total), then drain on kitchen towel. You may need additional oil with each batch as aubergines soak up the oil like crazy.
- Whilst your veg is frying grab another ~ 20cm / 9" pan and cook your wraps. Over a medium-hot heat warm a tsp of coconut oil in the pan, swirling it round to make sure it is covering all of the pan. Pour in half of your batter whilst holding the pan off the heat and swirl it round so that it is evenly spread in a circle across the pan. Return to the heat and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bottom starts to colour, there is no raw mixture on the top and bubbles have started to appear. Using a spatula ease the edges and bottom of the wrap away from the pan, then flip over and cook until browned on the underside, approx 2 mins. The wrap should be fairly sturdy, if not, you are flipping too soon. When done on the other side slide off on to a plate, then add another tsp of coconut oil to the pan and repeat with the rest of the batter.
- To serve spread your wrap with enough squash to cover it, load up with aubergines, mushrooms, spring onions, coriander, dill and pomegranate, then squeeze over some lime juice and roll up!
Inspired by kabocha? Not sure what else to do with it? Try this recipe for Kabocha Squash Nut Balls by Rough Measures or check out this guide in the The Kitchn for some more ideas.
I’ve entered this recipe into the blog linky meat free mondays by Tinned Tomatoes.
*Disclaimer: Many thanks to Steamer Trading and Nutri Ninja for the blender, which I received as a gift to enable me to write this post.