Pumpkin Curry

January 30, 2011

Lest you think that all I do is stew up large vats of meat, might I share with you a most delightful recipe for pumpkin curry that I just discovered a couple of weeks ago. I had clipped the recipe from (believe it or not) an old issue of Bon Apetit and had been thinking of making it for over a year. The perfect opportunity came up when I went up to spend a cozy weekend at my friend M’s place in Connecticut, the weekend after our second to last snow storm. The snow was piled 28″ high in the woods behind her house– clean, fluffy, white, snow cone worthy snow– and the atmosphere was begging for a nice, slow cooked stewy dish for lunch. After a pleasant morning of  snow shoeing,  we lit a fire in her little pella stove, made mugs of tea and tucked into platefuls of this  luscious curry served with buttered brown rice. The curry is 100% vegan and is so hearty and rich, you will barely have space for seconds. I revamped the recipe the very next weekend, cutting the coconut cream to half a cup which I think makes it a little less rich but also helps to limit the risk of heartburn after your second plateful…

Pumpkin and Cashew Curry

(adapted from Bon Appetit, Oct 2009)

2 T vegetable oil, divided

4 1/2 cups 3/4-inch cubes peeled mix of pumpkin and butternut squash

1/2 tsp black mustard seeds

8 curry leaves (I used dried)

2 small red onions, sliced thin (or one red and one yellow onion)

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 T finely grated peeled fresh ginger

3 dried chiles (the long, thin red ones from Indian or Mexican stores)

3/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews

1 tsp ground turmeric

1 tsp ground cumin

1 15 oz can of unsweetened coconut milk

1/2 cup creamed coconut

1 15 oz can of chick peas, drained

1/2 cup coarsely chopped cilantro plus additional for garnish

Juice from  half a lime

2 tsp (or to your taste) of Kosher salt

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add pumpkin and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to bowl.

Add 1 tablespoon oil to same skillet. Add mustard seeds and curry leaves; cook until seeds pop and leaves sizzle, 30 seconds. Add onions, garlic, and ginger. Sauté until onions are golden, 4 minutes. Add chiles, cashews, turmeric, and cumin; stir-fry 1 minute. Add coconut milk and coconut cream. Increase heat to medium high. Boil until thickened, 2 minutes. Return pumpkin to pan and add chick peas; reduce heat to medium. Simmer until pumpkin is tender, 4 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup cilantro and lime juice. Sprinkle in the Kosher salt and a turn or two of fresh ground pepper.

Spoon over rice; garnish with additional cilantro. (I like to toss a pat of butter into the hot rice and mix in the cilantro as well as some salt and pepper. Looks pretty and makes the rice SO delicious. )