Moroccan Pumpkin and Seitan Stew

A vegan stew with an exotic flavor inspired by a pumpkin tajine

I got the inspiration for this recipe in a restaurant in the charming Vejer de la Frontera, one of the white villages of Andalusia that has better preserved its Arab atmosphere of the past.
At a restaurant, I often choose a dish knowing that at home I could try to reproduce it, perhaps with a twist of personal interpretation.
This recipe is a revisitation of le Jardin de Califa Pumpkin Tajine.

What did I like about this food? I love every combination of sweet and salty, my favorite being cheese and fruits like grapes, pears or persimmons. In this case, the sweet and slight sour raisins give a really nice contrast to the other ingredients. I know, I know! Raisins are not the most popular ingredient but, of course, the stew will work without, so feel free to avoid adding or to substitute them.

As I mentioned in my about section, I always look for ways to simplify my recipes: to spare time, to have less to clean, to have less mess in the kitchen and so on. I am not a fan of pre-packaged or canned food so this will never be my method. Check the recipe notes to see how I handle this.

Moroccan Pumpkin Stew Overhead

Moroccan Pumpkin and Seitan Stew

A vegan stew with an exotic flavor inspired by a pumpkin tajine
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time25 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Servings: 2 people
Author: Liliana Lafranchi

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 80 g seitan, chopped
  • 2 – 3 dl water
  • 80 g chickpeas, boiled (or canned)
  • 300 g pumpkin, pre-cooked, diced, see notes
  • 120 g spinach
  • 50 g raisins , If you don't like raisins, you can substitute them with dried, chopped apricots or plums
  • chili flakes
  • pepper
  • chopped almonds, for garnish

Instructions

  • Saute the onion in oil, add salt, cumin, and cinnamon. After a few minutes add the seitan, then the other ingredients and the water. Simmer for 20 minutes over low heat or until the pumpkin is tender. Serve and garnish with chili pepper flakes and almonds.

Notes

You can pre-cook the pumpkin in an oven or using the pressure cooker (my favorite method). By pre-cooking it will be much easier to cut it. 
Tip to spare time: Choose a small pumpkin that could easily fit in a pressure cooker, wash it and put it entirely into it with a small amount of water. If needed cut away the top or the bottom. 
Cook about half an hour as follow: 3 – 4 min until the vent pipe comes up, 5 minutes atmedium heat, and then turn the heat off and let cook by pressure for about 20 minutes. When the pumpkin is cooked and soft you can very easily cut it into pieces.
You can similarly pre-cook the entire pumpkin in the oven (200 °C x 40 minutes). I din’t try this method myself but I did some research and I found out it’s possible too. You can check this link e.g. https://teaspoonofspice.com/how-to-cook-a-whole-pumpkin-healthy-kitchen-hacks/ for more details.
The
skin is edible, and if the pumpkin is small, its skin will be thin enough and you won’t even notice it. Try a small piece and you can judge yourself if it’s ok for you. 

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