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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Curried Pumpkin and Black Bean Cakes

Because sometimes recipe ideas come to you when you're trying to take a nap.

I made pumpkin cookies yesterday to take over to my friends' house, and found myself with about half a can of pumpkin left over.  I had considered making a sauce to go with pasta, a pumpkin hummus, pumpkin french toast, or a super small batch of pumpkin soup.  Ultimately, I decided to lay down for a nap, leaving the pumpkin on the counter until I knew what I wanted to do with it.  Five minutes into my "nap," I thought of these cakes.  I've had something similar at a tapas restaurant, and thought I'd take a stab at it myself.

If you're not familiar, tapas, or small plates, are like appetizers or snacks that you share with friends.  Generally, everyone in your party orders a small plate or two, and everyone shares.  The tapas restaurant I've been to has these spicy black bean-quinoa cakes that are to die for.  So that was my inspiration here.  These turned out more moist than the restaurant cakes, with a subtle pumpkin-curry flavor and plenty of spice.  The roomie and I are thinking about hosting a tapas party in a few weeks, so I'll probably play with this recipe again.
If you have cooked wild rice on hand, this recipe comes together in 40 minutes or less.  It's a breeze to make, and definitely worthy of an at-home tapas party or dinner party.  I wish I had come up with a sauce to go with these spicy cakes, but I failed miserably at making a tahini sauce.  However, I just reheated a cake, and tried out three different dipping sauces: ketchup, garlic hummus, and vegan mayo.  I actually liked all three, so go with what works for you.  Or you could try a dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt.  Or nothing.  I'm not judging.
15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked wild rice
3/4 cup canned pumpkin
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 Tbsp cornstarch
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a muffin pan with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mash beans until chunky but not too mushy.  Add rice and stir to mix well.  In a food processor or blender, add remaining ingredients and blend well.  Pour pumpkin mixture into the bean mix, and stir to combine well.  Divide the pumpkin-bean mixture evenly in the muffin pan.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Serve with any kind of sauce you see fit.  Enjoy!

Bonus photo:  I brought these cakes over for my friends to try and their daughter, Sophia, snapped this excellent shot of the cakes for me.

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