Halloween/Samhain is celebrated around the world. Traditionally 31st October is the night when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is at its thinnest. This is the best night of the year to make contact with the spirit world. Common customs for Halloween are – lay and extra place at your dinner table in remembrance of those in spirit. You should place a small portion of food and drink at this place and raise a glass to ‘absent friends and loved ones’.
Bonfires can be lit, or candles if you can’t get outdoors, to celebrate the start of the darker season and it is traditional for friends and family to get together to celebrate and appreciate all they have in life.
We didn’t always carve pumpkins to make lanterns, which were set outside the front door to keep any wandering spirits away and help them find their way back to the spirit world. In olden days beetroots and turnips were used, children went from door to door begging for money of food. Trick or treating, as we know it today comes from the old tradition of treating any roaming spirits with kindness. These days children enjoy dressing up and gathering bags full of sweets.
Mauritian Pumpkin Curry
Here’s a delicious recipe to keep you warm during chilly days.
3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, grated
3cm of fresh ginger, grated
2 green finger chillies, sliced lengthways
1kg pumpkin, diced
½ tsp salt
A dash of sugar
1 tsp ground coriander
12 fresh curry leaves
2 sprigs thyme
1 Heat the oil over a medium heat in a large lidded pan, fry the onion until blonde, tip in the garlic, ginger and chillies until they sizzle a little, browning at the edges.
2 Add the pumpkin chunks, season with salt, a touch of sugar and add the water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until the pumpkin flesh has yielded.
3 Remove the lid and sprinkle in the ground coriander, curry leaves and thyme sprigs, cooking uncovered for another 10 minutes, reducing the pumpkin stew a little.
4 Eat with rice or a flatbread/chapatti
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