With restaurants in Brixton, Soho, and White City, Kricket has become particularly renowned for its modern Indian-inspired food.
Tying in with the height of pumpkin season, the Delica pumpkin recipe combines the small, sweet squash with a rich butter chicken sauce. Taken from chef Will Bowlby’s Kricket Cookbook, the dish takes under an hour to prepare, is entirely vegetarian, and although the ingredients list is lengthy, most are store cupboard essentials.
To prepare the Delica pumpkin with makhani sauce, the pumpkins are sliced into 8 wedges and roasted with cumin, turmeric, salt, and chilli powder. While the pumpkin cooks, a rich makhani sauce is slowly simmered. The dish is then finished with a hazelnut crumble, made by toasting hazelnuts and sesame seeds with a pinch of chilli powder, quickly blitzed with chaat masala, plus crumbled paneer and puffed wild rice.
“One of the most popular dishes on our menu, and one that will stay on for a while! The sauce is the original butter chicken sauce that I tried in a restaurant in old Delhi, called Moti Mahal. Delica pumpkins are quite small and have a much sweeter flesh than a regular pumpkin. They have a relatively short season. You can buy them from any good grocer in season but if they are not available, just use another pumpkin variety instead or butternut squash.”
- 1 Delica pumpkin about 18 cm (7 inches) in diameter
- 1 tsp vegetable oil plus extra for frying
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- Generous pinch sea salt
- 100 g wild rice
- 200 g Paneer crumbled
- 1 bunch fresh micro coriander to garnish
For the Makhani sauce
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 4 green cardamom pods
- 2 black cardamom pods
- 4 cloves
- 2 fresh Indian bay leaves
- 4 tbsp ginger and garlic paste
- 2 tbsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 2 green chillies split down the middle
- 1 kg plum tomatoes puréed
- 200 ml double cream plus extra to serve
- 250 g unsalted butter
- 1 tbsp garam masala
- A handful dried fenugreek leaves
- Caster sugar to taste
- Sea salt to taste
For the Hazelnut Crumble
- 200 g hazelnuts
- 50 g sesame seeds
- 2 tsp Kashmiri red chilli powder
- 1 tsp chaat masala
- Preheat the oven to 160C (320F/Gas 3).
- Halve the pumpkin, scoop out the seeds, slice the flesh into 8 wedges and trim the ends. Put the pumpkin slices in a roasting pan and coat with the oil, cumin, turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Roast in the oven for around 30 minutes. You want the pumpkin to be only just cooked, as it gets a further grilling before being served.
- While it is roasting, make the puffed rice. Heat a little oil, to about 2 cm (1 in) in depth, in a heavy-based saucepan until very hot. Add the wild rice and stir for a few minutes until it puffs up, then drain on kitchen paper.
- To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the whole spices and allow them to infuse the oil for 30 seconds or so before adding the ginger and garlic paste, chilli powder and green chillies. Cook for a couple of minutes, then turn the heat down to medium-low, add the tomatoes, then cover and cook for about 30 minutes until the sauce has reduced by one-third and the oil has separated from the tomatoes. Remove the whole spices, then add the cream, butter, garam masala and fenugreek leaves. Season to taste with sugar and salt and leave to one side.
- To make the hazelnut crumble, toast the nuts and sesame seeds with the chilli powder for a few minutes until golden in a dry frying pan. Cool, then roughly pulse to a fine powder, in a food processor, with the chaat masala.
- Heat up the makhani sauce and spoon into 4 plates or bowls. Grill the pumpkin for a few minutes on each side, until the slices get a little colour – this will add a smoky element to the dish.
- To serve, arrange 2 wedges of pumpkin on top of the sauce, and top with the crumbled paneer, hazelnut crumble, puffed wild rice and garnish with coriander.