Halloween 2017 is approaching and we were not surprised to discover this week that the average consumer in the UK will spend £23 on Halloween-related sweets, food, decorations and costumes.

You only have to look in any supermarket to see how popular ‘All Hallows Eve’ has become in the UK in recent years.

It has always been a big thing for our American friends across the Pond and it’s a little surprising that it took us so long to catch up.

People of a certain age, like me, will remember that Halloween consisted of your dad carving out a turnip (times were tough in the 1980s) and putting in a tea light before sending you out into the dark streets asking people for money (isn’t that also known as begging?).

Back then, there was hardly a pumpkin in sight and it was a rarity to see a house festooned in Halloween decorations. Now, it’s all about the pumpkins and the decorations and the costumes, but that’s no bad thing.

Halloween has also taken over other parts of our lives. Where would we be, for example, without the Halloween Strictly Come Dancing special or the FIFA 18 Halloween cards? We even read that Starbucks has produced a Vampire Frappuccino this year, but don’t worry it’s not blood but a rather lovely, if not calorie inducing, sounding drink containing chocolate cream blended with strawberry sauce and topped with a generous helping of whipped cream.

So, yes, it’s fair to say we are all for the commercialisation of Halloween here at SK, especially as it gives us a chance to flex our culinary skills. We were tempted to go old school and do something with turnip but we have sold our souls to the devil (see where we are going here) and opted for pumpkin, but with our usual Asian twist!

Pumpkin Dry Curry

500g pumpkin peeled and chopped into cubes,
1 tbsp vegetable oil,
½ tsp fenugreek seeds,
1 dried chilli
1 tsp cumin seeds,
1 tsp chilli powder,
1 tsp turmeric,
1 tsp coriander seeds, crushed
squeeze of lemon juice
2 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
Handful of fresh coriander

1. Heat oil on a gentle heat and add the cumin and fenugreek seeds and 1 dried chilli.
2. Turn down the heat and add chilli powder, turmeric, coriander and fry for five minutes.
3. Stir in the fresh green chillies, pumpkin, salt and sugar (optional).
4. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until soft, stirring occasionally. Turn the heat up if there is a lot of moisture in the dish.
5. Remove from the heat and sprinkle in the split chillies and lemon juice and garnish with the coriander.

John Connell
About John Connell
Development & Innovations Chef of SK Foods.
Your food. Our Passion.