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Weekend Recipe: Black bean chilli-filled baby pumpkins with coconut rice from Mildreds

A filling and flavourful main course packed full of bright colours to cheer up your autumn table. You can make the chilli in advance to cut down on the labour involved here, while if you can’t find baby pumpkins you could always use the round bottom part of a butternut squash.


8 baby pumpkins or winter squash
light oil (such as rapeseed, groundnut or sunflower)

For the Black Bean Chilli
light oil
200g (7oz) pumpkin, cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) cubes
1 courgette, cut into 2.5-cm (1-inch) cubes
1 white onion, finely diced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 celery sticks, finely diced
1 red chilli, trimmed and finely chopped
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
3 tablespoons tomato purée
2 x 400g (13oz) cans chopped tomatoes
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
½ cinnamon stick
2 chipotle chillies, roughly chopped or 3 tablespoons chipotle chilli paste
½ teaspoon paprika
400ml (14fl oz) water
480g (15oz) canned black beans
1 small bunch of coriander leaves, chopped, plus extra to garnish

For the Toasted Coconut Rice
light oil
2 green chillies, finely chopped
500g (1lb) basmati rice, washed
300ml (½  pint) water
40ml (1½ fl oz) coconut milk
75g (3oz) desiccated coconut

Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/Gas Mark 6.

For the black bean chilli, drizzle a little oil on to the base of a roasting tin. Add the pumpkin pieces and mix together thoroughly. Roast for 10 minutes, then add the courgette and cook for a further 5–10 minutes until the vegetables are tender. Set aside.

Heat a splash of oil in a large heavy-based saucepan, add the onion and cook gently, stirring, for 5 minutes, until softened and translucent. Add the garlic, celery, chilli and thyme and cook for another 10 minutes, then add the tomato purée, tomatoes, sugar, cinnamon, chillies, paprika and water and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until the chilli has thickened and reduced. Add the beans and cook for a further 10 minutes, then stir in the roasted vegetables and coriander and keep warm.

Meanwhile, roast the baby pumpkins. Cut the top off each in a neat circle and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place on a baking tray, drizzle with a little oil and bake for 20–30 minutes until the flesh is cooked. Cover with tin foil to keep warm and set aside until needed.

For the toasted coconut rice, heat a drizzle of oil in a saucepan, add the chillies and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, then cover with the water. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10–12 minutes, until the water has evaporated and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat, pour over the coconut milk, and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Stir in the desiccated coconut to finish. To serve, place a large scoop of rice on each plate, fill the warm pumpkins with the chilli and place one on each plate beside the rice.

Recipe taken from Mildreds The Cookbook by Mildreds available here

Mildreds 3D Web trans