Spicy Pumpkin Basil and Chili Dip

Roasted Pumpkin Chili and Basil Dip
Roasted Pumpkin Chili and Basil Dip

I admit I suffer from a serious and acute dip mania at the moment! After my harissa turned out beautifully, I was motivated to experiment a bit more. I have not tried baking gluten-free bread yet, – sorry, but I’m still pretty new on the gluten free journey – but once I have achieved the holy grail of gluten-free bread making, it’s good to know what to dip it into, don’t you think? (Update: I made gluten free bread! The results can be found here, here and here.)

Although unlike the Northern hemisphere, it’s not really pumpkin season in Oz right now, the delicious and versatile vitamin A bomb is omnipresent in this part of the world all year round – and since we happened to celebrate Halloween just over a week ago, I assume we all still have some leftover pumpkin in our freezer, and what better way than to turn it into a tasty dip?

Pumpkin has such a unique flavour, which makes it so different from your average dip or pesto. I decided to marry it off to some chickpea – must be my love for falafel coming through here – to give it a mysterious middle eastern touch. Of course, there had to be chili in it, as with most of my savoury dishes. I used hot chili powder from the middle eastern shop, as the naughty mint in our back yard killed my chili plant (*sniffle*), but it turned out alright nonetheless.

My first version didn’t feature any basil, as I didn’t have any and couldn’t be bothered going shopping. It was good, but trust me, you don’t want to leave out the basil! You might try parsley, too, though I haven’t tried that. The version featured here is pretty low in fat – pumpkin is already so luscious and creamy that unlike a traditional pesto, you just need to add a tablespoon of healthy olive oil to make it yummy. In my next version of this dip, I am going to put some cashews or almonds in it – I think this will be beautiful!

Makes approx. 200 g

100g roasted or char-grilled pumpkin, chopped
50g chickpeas from the tin, drained
1 tbsp good olive oil (try chili or lemon infused olive oil for that extra kick)
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar (you can use any vinegar – I just wanted to make this dip even more healthy!)
1 tbsp lemon juice (optional, but gives great flavour)
fresh basil, chili, salt, pepper, garlic and paprika to taste – you can always adjust the spices afterwards

Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Serve immediately with crudités or gluten-free bread or keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 3 days. Extra hot tip: Mix it with my harissa paste – you won’t regret it, it’s superb!

Enjoy!

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