I love pumpkin! This starchy and nutritious vegetable is cheap, versatile (can be used in both in savoury and sweet recipes) and full of nutrients. It’s one of my favourite sources of carbohydrates, and a go-to staple ingredient in autumn and winter. This curry is my fail-proof, can’t-be-bothered, I-feel-like-comfort-food recipe. Trust me, this will be the easiest pumpkin curry you will ever make.
If you haven’t cooked with pumpkin much or you get confused by different varieties out there, check out my Guide To Pumpkin & Winter Squash post, in which I go over all the basics and give you 20 awesome ideas for how to use it in the kitchen. And if you’re a salad lover, check out my round up of fabulous pumpkin salad recipes.
The best type of pumpkin to use in this curry is a sweet pumpkin such as Kabocha, Kent or Jap. You could use other types but their flesh is not as sweet and starchy, so you will have a slightly different texture and might need to add a little extra honey for that perfect balance of flavours. If pumpkin is not in season, use sweet potato and carrots instead.
You can use chicken thighs or turkey meat, and this would work really well with prawns, which you would add towards the end as they don’t need much cooking time. For a vegetarian version, simply omit the chicken and add some extra veggies such as green string beans, broccoli or whole button mushrooms.
Fish sauce can be replaced with tamari wheat-free sauce or a little extra salt. I used full-fat coconut milk from a can with about 50-60% coconut content, which I shook well before adding to the curry.
Arrowroot powder/flour is optional. I add a teaspoon right at the end, to thicken the sauce further, but you don’t really need it. The pumpkin will soften and some of its starchy flesh will thicken the curry anyway.
If you have an Instant Pot, try this Thai chicken curry in a hurry.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 brown onion, halved and sliced
- 4 thin sliced of fresh ginger
- 2 medium chicken breasts, diced into cubes
- 800 g / 1.7 lb Kabocha/Kent/Jap pumpkin, peeled and diced (remove the seeds)
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tablespoon fish sauce
- 3 teaspoons mild curry powder
- 400 ml coconut milk
- ¼ cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Juice of ½ lime
- 1 teaspoon arrowroot powder (optional)
- Handful fresh coriander /cilantro leaves
- Heat coconut oil over medium-high heat and add the onion and ginger. Pan-fry for about 2 minutes, stirring a few times, until slightly softened.
- Add the chicken and bring the heat up to high. Pan-fry and stir for 1-2 minutes, until the chicken has turned colour.
- At this stage, add the pumpkin, garlic, fish sauce and curry powder and stir through. Add the coconut milk, water and salt and stir through. Bring to boil, reduce the heat to medium and cook, covered with a lid, and for 10 minutes. Stir half way. Then remove the lid and cook uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring a couple of times. This will allow some of the liquid to evaporate and will sauce will start to thicken.
- Finally, add the lime juice, stir through and remove from heat. Scoop a few tablespoons of sauce into a small bowl and add the arrowroot powder, if using. Stir through until dissolved, then add back into the curry sauce. This will thicken the sauce a little more. Again, this is optional.
- Top the curry with freshly chopped coriander leaves for that lovely aroma and flavour.
- Serve over cauliflower rice, green veggies or with regular white rice.
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