As you probably already know, I’m a big lover of pumpkin. Especially pumpkin soup. It’s warming, sweet, creamy and comforting. However, when I have made it for Sri Lankan relatives, especially male ones, they don’t seem to get it. I suspect this curry has a lot to do with it. Pumpkin, cooked Sri Lankan style, is heady with spices and fragrant to the max. It’s the same type of warm, comforting and creamy without the sweetness of roasted butternut. This dish is decidedly savoury, while I think pumpkin soup, especially the kind made with butternut can be a bit of a fence sitter. I for one will always be pumpkin fan, in whatever style you serve it to me!
By the by this dish also has the added bonus of being vegan.
- 1 small red onion finely chopped
- 2 green chillis sliced
- 1 handful of curry leaves
- 2 cloves
- 2 cardamom pods
- 1/2 stick of cinnamon
- 2 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tsp. fenugreek seeds
- 1 pandan leaf
- 1 tbsp. coconut oil or vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
- 1 kg kent or jap pumkin cut into large, even chunks
- salt to taste
- 1/2 cup coconut milk powder
- 2 tsp, dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp. toasted coconut to garnish *
In a shallow dish or wok fry the onion,garlic, curry leaves, cinnamon, pandan, cloves, cardomom, and green chilli with the oil. Fry over a low heat until the onion is soft and the spices are fragrant.
Add the turmeric and fry for a 1-2 minutes until it’s well incorporated and slightly toasted.
Add the chopped pumpkin and cover with enough water to submerge the pumpkin. Cook over a medium heat until the pumpkin is just soft.
Add a little water to the coconut milk powder and make a paste. Add the dijon mustard and stir well before adding to the pumpkin curry. Bring the whole mix to a gentle simmer and add salt to taste. Take off the heat and add the toasted coconut just before serving.
* to toast the coconut, add 2 tablespoons of shredded coconut to a dry pan. Cook over a gentle heat, stirring constantly until the coconut has changed is colour and is brown and fragrant.