This time of year you pumpkins are everywhere. You’ll find them in the local coffee shop, in bars, and props on the lawn at city hall.
Many see the pumpkin as incomplete until it’s carved and displayed. When I see a pumpkin I get hungry! Pumpkin is delicious and very versatile working perfectly in both savory and sweet preparations. A pumpkin is a squash and it’s waiting to become part of your dinner.
I love the flavor of pumpkin and its rich, sweet & earthy flavors marry perfectly with curry. The pumpkin actually doesn’t care which curry you throw at it as it loves at all from complex Indian Madras curry powders to vibrant Thai red curry paste and yellow Indonesian style curry.
I am a huge fan of this simple vegetarian curry that features pumpkin with yellow curry. You can easily make this a carnivorous dish with the addition of your meat of choice if you like.
Ingredients for Pumpkin Curry
- 12 black peppercorns
- 12 coriander seeds
- 8 shallots – Asian shallots (American shallots are bigger so if using these cut the number in half)
- 6 cloves of garlic
- 8 Thai chilies
- 2 inches of ginger
- 1 inch of galangal (this looks a lot like ginger but is harder and more intensely flavored)
- 1 inch of fresh turmeric or one tablespoon of dried
- 1 Pie pumpkin peeled and diced into 1 inch cubes
- 1 Red onion sliced into thin half-moons
- 1 can of coconut milk (not sweetened)
- 1 cup of Vegetable stock
- 1 16 oz. can of Garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed)
- 2 or 3 stalks of lemongrass (keep the bottom four inches and bruise)
Add the peppercorns, and coriander seeds to the mortar and pestle smashing to a rough paste. Chop the remaining ingredients from the shallots to the turmeric and add these to your mortar and pestle. Smash away until it becomes a semi-smooth paste (This will take five minutes or more dependent upon how vigorously you pound and grind.) Once your curry paste is complete the task is easy.
Heat a wok on the highest setting on your strongest burner. I use a heavy, cast iron wok made by Le Creuset – this may be my favorite kitchen item. The idea is that you want a pan/wok that will hold the heat once you start cooking.
Saute the yellow curry paste with a tablespoon of oil for a couple of minute until it’s very fragrant. Add the onion and pumpkin and stir to coat the pumpkin with the curry paste. Next add the coconut milk and the stock and stir to combine. When it begins to boil add the garbanzo beans and the bruised lemongrass pieces. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the pumpkin is soft. You can cook this to a dry mix or keep it wet by stopping the cooking when the pumpkin is soft. Feel free to add water if needed or desired.