Yes, I know that that is a ridiculous question. Of course pumpkin does not get one high. However, every time I eat this I feel...very good. My version always has a lot of pumpkin in - if I've got a whole pumpkin I'm going to use the whole pumpkin, otherwise it will sit dejectedly in the back of the fridge until it starts supporting a whole other, miniature ecosystem and I have to toss it into the compost. So my first conclusion was that it is the pumpkin illiciting some sort of feel-good, hormonal reaction (or however it works). But it could equally be the lentils or one of the spices - I should look into it. Right after I attack the monstrous pumpkin sitting on my bench while Babushka has a rare afternoon nap..
PUMPKIN & RED LENTIL STEW
Ingredients (serves 4)
* 1 cup red lentils, rinsed in cold water
* 2 Tbs olive oil
* 1 small onion, finely chopped
* 2 garlic cloves, crushed
* 2 tsp grated ginger
* 1 tsp ground cumin (I am often more generous than 1 tsp with the spices)
* 1 tsp ground turmeric
* 1 tsp ground paprika
* 2 cups diced pumpkin
* 2 celery stalks, chopped (I often leave these out, and no dramas)
* 100g green beans, cut into 2cm lengths
* 2 tbs lime juice (ditto the lime juice)
* 1 small bunch coriander, large stalks removed, chopped
* Steamed basmati rice and plain yoghurt, to serve
1. Place rinsed lentils, the curry leaves and 3 cups of cold water (750ml) in a saucepan, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes.
2. Heat oil in a large frypan over medium heat, add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until soft. Add garlic, ginger and spices and cook for 1 minute. Add pumpkin and celery and cook, stirring, for 3-4 minutes.
3. Add pumpkin mixture to lentils and cook, covered, for 10 minutes. Add beans, cook for 5 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Stir in lime juice and coriander.
4. Serve with rice, and dollop with yoghurt.
(Image from taste.com.au; original version of this recipe also from taste.com.au)