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Autumn lamb, roast pumpkin and spiced tomato sauce with Arun Kapil

Friday, 23 October 2009

It's nearing Halloween and hence we are seeing pumpkins everywhere, but most of us don't know what to do with them apart from pumpkin soup! Arun is going to show two delicious ways to spice up pumpkins.

Pumpkin's unique flavor lends itself to both sweet and savory fall recipes and we've got a few interesting ones for you today
Arun Kapil- Spice Specialist & Founder of Green Saffron Spices

Arun Kapil worked in London before coming to Ireland in September 2004 for the Ballymaloe Cookery Course. He went on to work at the House, as a chef. It was whilst working there that he came up with the idea of importing spices, making Indian blends and giving away simple-to-follow, delicious tasting recipes with each authentic blend. He really began to miss the old cooking smells and tastes of home
life...and so Green Saffron Spices started up.

Now at the age of 39 and taking a quick look back over the years, Arun has lead a very exciting and interesting life. He began by acting on stage and TV at the age of 11 with the UK National Youth Children's Theatre, singing in a school rock band and progressed to forming his first limited company at the age of nineteen - a record label launching the first ever DJ compilation album working with some of the bigger names in the music industry.

At present Arun's family are heavily involved in his business. Green Saffron is an environmentally friendly Indian family business. They bring small, frequent shipments of the freshest, highest quality spices direct from India to their base in East Cork. Ireland.

Each week they then expertly grind them into authentic family spice blends with really simple, easy-to-follow accompanying recipes for delicious tasting, intensely honest Indian meals of immense flavour, free from anything artificial.

Autumn lamb, roast pumpkin and spiced tomato sauce

As the nights start to close in and the North winds bring their inevitable chill, this really simple, all-in-one roast dish perfectly sums up warming, comfort food, ideal for eating by an open fire on a cold autumnal evening. Suggested by a friend, Adam, this mix of seasonal pumpkin, hearty chunks of lamb and thick tomatoey sauce fired up with a blend of Thai spices, lemon zest and thyme warms the cockles...!

Serves 4
35g Green Saffron's Thai 7 spice
. 1 dried red chilli - Kashmiri or chipotle,
. 4 cloves,
. 2tsp coriander seed,
. ½tsp onion seeds,
. ½tsp white pepper corns,
. ½tsp cinnamon powder,
. ½ star anise piece,
. ½tsp mango or pineapple powder,
. 1tsp ginger powder

Main ingredients
. 1 clove garlic, crushed
. Zest of ½ lemon, finely grated
. 1 tsp salt
. 4 tblsp (60ml) olive oil
. 1kg of lamb gigot chops, approximately 8 chops
. 1.35kg of cherry tomatoes
. 950g of peeled, deseeded pumpkin flesh (approx a 1.2kg or a small pumpkin), chopped into chunks
. 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
. Good handful of fresh mint, chopped into ribbons

Also, you need:
Tin-foil double folded to a size big enough to cover your biggest, deep roasting dish

How to make your meal:
1. Firstly, turn your oven on to medium; 190°C or gas mark 5 is great.
2. Pop all the dry spices into an electric grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a coarse powder
3. Then, in a large mixing bowl, pour in the oil and add the garlic, lemon zest, salt, lamb chops, tomatoes, pumpkin, thyme sprigs along with your gorgeous, fresh spice blend.
4. Using your (clean!) hands, stir everything around in the bowl, then take out the chops, put them onto a plate, cover with damp tea-towel and set aside.
5. Take your large roasting dish (big enough to fit everything in), carefully pour the contents of the bowl into the dish, scraping every last drop of oil and spices in as well, gently flatten into an even(ish) layer and pop onto a middle shelf in your pre-heated oven.
6. After 15 minutes, open the oven and give everything in the dish a good, but gentle stir, then take the chops from the plate, place on top of the pumpkin mixture, cover with the sheet of tin foil and pop back into the oven.
7. After another 15 minutes has passed by, open the oven door again, remove the foil from on top of the roasting dish, close the oven door and continue to cook.
8. Ten minutes later, when the chops have taken on a nutty brown colour take the dish out of the's done!
9. Take the chops out of the dish, gingerly remove the stalky twigs of thyme, sprinkle the fresh mint over the pumpkin mix and stir to combine all the flavours.
10. Serve immediately with your favourite crusty bread, Cous Cous or soft-set polenta...enjoy!

Serving suggestion:
Serve with a green leafy salad and a glass or two of fruity red wine or chilled Alsace Riesling.

Roast pumpkin ice-cream, chocolate berry Sundae

This is based on our Kulfi recipe, an Indian style of ice-cream. It's a really easy way to make creamy, textured ice-cream.the warming cinnamon, nutmeg and mace combine beautifully with the sweet, honey-roasted pumpkin. You'll need to allow about 6 hours for the ice-cream to set before making the Sundae, or make it the day before. Then, when you add the autumn berries, chocolate sauce, flake and wafers you'll have the perfect gooey, retro-kitsch dessert to impress your friends, children, nieces and nephews alike..!

Serves 6
. 1 smallish pumpkin, about 2kg; cut into thin wedges (melon-boat shapes) of approx 5cm width, then deseeded and peeled
. 4 dstsp, 110g of runny honey
. 55g light muscavado sugar
. 3g Mixed Spice
. 1 tin, 400g condensed milk
. 250g whipping cream
. 1 egg (large), white only, whipped to 'stiff peak' stage
. 300g autumn berries, a selection of your favourites - blackberries, blueberries, tayberries etc. - very lightly crushed
. 50ml Crème de Cassis or 'Ribena' if you'd prefer not to use alcohol
. A good handful of fresh mint leaves, roughly chopped
. Some chocolate sauce
. A good handful of toasted flaked almonds
. 6 chocolate flakes
. 6 ice-cream wafers
. 6 sprigs of mint

How to make it:
Firstly, the pumpkin purée:
11. Turn your oven on to a medium heat; 200°C or gas mark 6.
12. Pop the 'raw' pumpkin wedges onto a shallow roasting dish, coat well all-over with the honey and pop onto a middle shelf in your oven
13. Leave to roast for about an hour, turning the wedges over after half an hour.
14. When golden and soft, take the wedges out of the oven, discarding any excess water, and chop into rough chunks. Again, discard any juices that come from the pumpkin wedges as you chop them.
15. Put the wedges into a blender with the muscavado and spices. Blitz to a smooth purée.
16. Pour the purée into a bowl and allow to thoroughly cool down

Now, it's time for the ice-cream:
17. In a large stainless steel or plastic mixing bowl, pour the cream and, using an electric (hand) blender whip to soft peaks.just when you can see the blender making 'ribbons' in the cream.
18. Then, add the cooled pumpkin purée and condensed milk into the bowl and continue to whip for another couple of minutes until you see the 'ribbons' once more.
19. Finally, fold the egg-white through the creamy pumpkin mixture until all ingredients are mixed well together and you have a thick, sticky 'mousse'.
20. Pop into your freezer and allow it to set for at least 6 hours or overnight.

And finally, the Sundae itself:
21. In a bowl, mix the berries with the Cassis (or Ribena) and chopped fresh mint
22. Now, take a Knickerbocker Glory glass, or any tall(ish) glass you have in your cupboard and place a heaped tablespoon of the berries into the bottom.
23. Next, add a large scoop of the Pumpkin ice-cream followed by a dollop of chocolate sauce, another tablespoon of berries, another scoop of ice-cream and finally, (you must've reached the top of the glass by now.!) another dollop of chocolate sauce.
24. Sprinkle with a few flaked almonds, pop in the flake, wafer and sprig of mint.tah dah! You've made your first beautifully decadent Ice-cream Sundae. Make some more and enjoy with friends and family!