Chickpea Pumpkin Tajine With Coconut Couscous & Coconut Chutney

Chickpea Pumpkin Tajine (02) by MeetaK

Sometimes I think I might be getting old! I am, of course, but I always thought my personality and way of thinking still remained on the young side. I will be 36 in June however, I by no means feel like a 36 year old woman. Sometimes, I am surprised at the age myself and wonder in disbelief "Really? Am I 36?"

Ok so how is a 36 year old supposed to act and behave and feel? I have no idea. I just know that I have felt really good about the way I am - on most occasions.

Last Saturday though, I did question the fact if I was getting old in the way of my thinking too. A few of my girlfriends and I decided to go out on a ladies night out. On most occasions we will go have a nice dinner somewhere and then for a round of cocktails. I really enjoy these evenings and my group of girlfriends are all between the ages of 30 and 36, so we kind of float on the same wave length. Almost all of them have kids and work, therefore have a busy daily schedule, which makes us enjoy and savor these evenings even more.

This Saturday our evening started out in the same way as always. A nice long dinner with wine and a lot of laughs and gossip. Around 11 we decided to check out a disco called "Over 29", targeting that special age group. I had never been there and am always in the mood to go dancing. However a few of my friends warned me that it would be nothing like I have probably ever seen. This only made me more inquisitive and I could not wait to check this place out.

I have to say this about my friends, they are always warning me and giving me advice about this or that. Apparently they think because I have traveled and lived in so many different places, they need to warn me ahead of time if they think something will not meet my expectations. But with me it is totally the opposite. Because I have lived in so many different places, I never expect anything to be like the other and I often go into these kind of things without any expectations. I purely look forward to experiencing something new.

Well it was quite an experience. I have never been to a disco where there was such a wide span between the ages. There was everything from 22 year olds to 60 year olds. I swear, it was funny and touching all at the same time. Touching, because I found it cute to see a few 50+ couples dancing on the dance-floor like "in the old days". Brilliant - instead of spending a Saturday night in front of the T.V. - dancing is the way to go! It was funny because I have never been hit on by a 50+ year old man!!!

I guess there is a first time for everything! Then there were a few of those typically loose type girls. I believe that they were our age, which was rather horrifying to see the way they were dressed and at their behavior. Honestly, next to them I felt I was dressed like a nun. I mean, what they thought of as a mini skirt was a wider belt in my books! It was also quite vulgar the way they seemed to be throwing themselves at any man that took notice.

I am certainly no prude, however I honestly do believe the finer qualities in a lady are in the way she presents herself. Her class, style and modesty are among her best assets. It's not something I recently started to believe in, it's something I have lived by from my teenage years. Whatever happened to the pride and countenance? As these thoughts were running through my head, I wondered if my friends thought the same. I was very relieved to find that we shared the same sentiments.

What are your opinions on this? Is it "old" or "prude" of me to think women should present themselves with a bit of class? I'd also love the hear a few opinions from the men out there - what do you find more attractive?

Sexy, classy and full of intriguing flavor is this tajine. Chickpeas and pumpkin are prepared with wonderful aromas of cumin, coriander and chilies. Served with a coconut chutney and couscous, this meal presents itself with perfect harmony and an explosion of aromas to tease the senses. It is a modest looking dish at first appearance but a closer look reveals delightful ecstasy for the taste buds.


This month I want you to be caring, loving and comforting to yourself. I want you to make your favorite Comfort Foods and bring it along to my mingle. Look forward to seeing all there! Deadline is February 4th.






Eating fresh? Well share your fresh winter produce with us in the seasonal event Eat Fresh. Hope you join the fun!

A slight change to the deadline of Eat Fresh: Although I initially decided not to put a deadline on this, I was advised by a few of you that it would be better to do so. Therefore, a deadline till March 31st has been set. Please send in your emails by this date.

Printable version of recipe here

Chickpea Pumpkin Tajine (04) by MeetaK

For the Tajine
1 onion - finely chopped
1 garlic clove - finely chopped
300 g pumpkin - peeled and cut into small cubes
300 g chickpeas - canned
3 tomatoes - coarsely chopped
1 red chili - finely chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon black cumin seeds - crushed in a mortar
1 tablespoon ginger - finely chopped
300 ml vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon Garam Masala
Salt and pepper
3 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce

For the Coconut Couscous
100 ml vegetable stock
100 - 120 g Couscous
100 ml coconut milk
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
1/2 lime - zest and juice

For the Coconut Chutney
Ginger - about 1 cm - finely chopped
1 garlic clove - finely chopped
1/2 green chili - finely chopped
1/2 bunch coriander/cilantro leaves - finely chopped
1 teaspoon sugar
1 lemon - juice
50 g grated coconut - fresh or dried
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce



Chickpea Pumpkin Tajine - Coconut Couscous (01) by MeetaK

For the Tajine
Heat the oil in a pan, then add the crushed cumin seeds, onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes. When the cumin starts to become fragrant and the onions have become transparent, add the pumpkin, tomatoes, ginger and chilies. Carry on sautéing for further 5 minutes.

Pour in the vegetable stock and season with the garam masala, salt and pepper. Simmer the mixture for approx. 10 minutes until the pumpkin is cooked through. You do not want a mushy pumpkin but rather one that still has bite so make sure you check the tenderness of the vegetable. Add the chickpeas and allow to simmer for another 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and a dash of soy sauce.

For the Coconut Couscous
Bring the vegetable stock to a rolling boil in a medium sized pot. Add all the ingredients, cover and remove from heat. Allow the couscous to steam for about 10 minutes then loosen with a fork.

For the Coconut Chutney
In a small bowl mix all the ingredients together. Allow all the flavors to infuse with each other before serving - about 10 minutes.

Serve the tajine with the coconut chutney and couscous.


Chickpea Pumpkin Tajine (01) by MeetaK

This would be a typical kind of meal we enjoy on a weeknight. I love the way all the flavors come together in perfect harmony. This creation gets its impulses from several different countries, like Morocco and India and offers a lovely international flair to the meal. Tom and Soeren loved the way the zesty chutney paired so well with the spicy tajine.

From The Archives:
Chickpeas Masala
Minty Humus
Vegetable Couscous
Pumpkin Feta Tart
Turkey Breast with Roasted Pumpkin
Coconut Tropicana Cream with Summer Berries
Coconut Mango Soup

This is going over to Marta of An Italian in the US who hosts the monthly event Fresh Produce of the Month. A lovely event, which I love taking part in. However, due to time restraints I was unable to take part in the last couple of events. This month she chose Squash as the star and as I love the vegetable could not miss it.


All photographs and written content on What's For Lunch, Honey? © 2006-2008 Meeta Khurana unless otherwise indicated. | All rights reserved | Please Ask First

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  1. I am always amazed at the kind of contrasts you come up with while taking the photographs!! I can't even think of them with those shades. :)

  2. HeHe!! My feelings exactly!! I will always be young no matter what the "numbers" say!! Sometimes somebody say "how is your husband?" and I think "What husband, who?" Hahaha.
    I always "see" him as a 18yr old as I remember him looong ago and I don't "see" his bald head either!;D
    I saw a Tajine dish at the store, I wanted to buy it just to cook this, may be I will. Both dish look fabulous. YUMMY!:)

  3. Meeta I am sure Tom will say give him a classy lady like you than the broad belt one.
    About age I am always surprised by myself about my age. Always say to myself I don't feel my age. I still feel very young.

  4. You are touching an interesting subject here!
    I feel the same Meeta, years go by and it feels as I don't get old, (I'm becoming 45 this saturday!!!!)but I've been changing through the years... sure. My point of view is wiser now than when I was younger and my behaviour is not the same nowadays in a disco than the one when I was 20! Hormones and alcohol are a very dangerous mixture!!! However, I think we must keep the class but get other flavory ingredients in the mixture, spicy ones, velvety ones and the ones that arise good mood, laughter and good feelings...

  5. Lovely pics Meeta. It looks like a great combination. I think I am gonnu try this very soon. I love coconut :D.

    About your experience, I totally agree with you.

  6. Hi Meeta, your post reminds me of a similar experience during my recent trip to Las Vegas. I completely agree with you that the finer qualities of a woman are in the way she presents herself. I would just say that being old or prude is just more of a perception.

    Lovely tajine and pictures.

  7. I often forget my age as well. I'm celebrating my 12 wedding anniversery this year and have a 4.5 year old son. But I feel like I just got married and birthed a child yesterday!

    BTW, I love your photographs. You're able to make even a simple sandwich look appealing!

  8. Meeta, you are certainly NOT old - I can't wait to be older (I'll be 20 in April), since one gains wisdom and experience as one ages :0)

    Chickpea Pumpkin Tajine With Coconut Couscous & Coconut Chutney... not only is that recipe/meal absolutely gorgeous-looking, but it sounds SPECTACULAR!! yum!!

  9. Funny story! I completely see that here as well .... I joined the 40 club last year - believe me I DO NOT feel 40 either. But, I am much happier going out for a nice bottle of wine with a couple friends and really catching up - relationships mean a lot more now! Class is where it is at!

  10. You are a June baby too?! And yes. turning this June is going to be another out of the body experience as it has been since I turned 30, since I can't seem to connect the dots and figure out it's me who's growing older - after all I still seem the same to ME :)

    I have been looking for tagine dish for sometime now, but havent been able to find one - looks delicious..

  11. This dish is exploding with flavours - garam masala, coconut milk, soy sauce, lime juice... and the textural interest from the chickpea and the softer pumpkin...

    Class is timeless. Grace comes only with class. Today our concepts of 'old' have changed drastically. When I look at our older screen actresses like Sharmila Tagore, or Waheeda Rehman, I only think how beautifully they have aged. I somehow, can't use the word - 'old' when I think of them. And they all have class, elegance. I'd opt for that route over a mini skirt - always.

  12. That's interesting about the club and surprising about some of the patrons--I guess some people never quite grow up out of bad habits. I don't think its old/prude of you to behave and carry yourself in accordance with your own set of values and self-respect--after all, acting otherwise would certainly not attract the type of company you'd be happy to have.

    The dish looks great. Its funny, my next post is also a vegetable tagine--saying yours only looks "modest" doesn't bode well for mine, lol! I really like the combination of flavors you have going on in this one.

  13. Nice to see that we share the same sentiments. As for the tajne I am sure you will love it to the very last spoonful!

  14. Sounds like girls' night out was a lot of fun -- it's important to get out with friends every now and then -- it keeps us young at heart! Now any recipe called a tagine gets my attention, and this one looks delicious. I'm going to try it in one of my ceramic tagine pots.

  15. Meeta,
    thank you so much! The dish just looks appealing and delicious through the computer monitor! And after that introduction about sensuality and class summarized in this dish, how can I not try making it? :)

    And - I do agree with you on the subject of avoiding vulgarity in the type of clothes and attitude one chooses. I actually never go to dance clubs because the few times I've been there I've always felt embarrassed by what I saw, and never at ease enough to actually dance...

  16. Dear Meeta,

    I love how you talk about whats on your mind - so eloquent and so honest. Very nice post, both the thought behind it and how you share it with us.

    Many thanks and much love,


  17. I love the flavor combinations in this recipe. I don't have pumpkin, but maybe I'll use butternut squash instead. Lovely pics on the blue mat too.

  18. Thank you for your comments. I am sure you will love the grand flavors this one offers!

  19. I love the combinations in the tajine. We got a tajine for Christmas and I think it's a crime we haven't used it yet. I do think I've found the recipe to christen it with!

  20. Meeta you are still a baby! This dish sounds so delicious and different!

  21. Meeta,
    I finally got to try this wonderful recipe! Thanks a lot for sharing. I posted about it if you want to see the result. :)


Thank you for visiting What's For Lunch, Honey? and taking time to browse through my recipes, listen to my ramblings and enjoy my photographs. I appreciate all your comments, feedback and input. I will answer your questions to my best knowledge and respond to your comments as soon as possible.

In the meantime I hope you enjoy your stay here and that I was able to make this an experience for your senses.