Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Coconut Curry

I'd say that I'm increasingly convinced that South Asian food is the best food in the world, but I wouldn't even be sure what I was referring to.  After all, a Sri Lankan pumpkin curry, a Keralian dosa, a Hyderabadi porridge, and a Punjabi chana masala share almost no spices or incredients with one another, and my friend Samir tells me that Gujarati cuisine is also really different.  Not to mention Bengali food, Pakistani food, or (like the last two posts) the Desi food that comes via England.

This is the first of two pumpkin coconut curries I've made recently.  I think I wanted it a little less pungent (there's lots of fenugreek, fennel, and mustard seeds) and a little more creamy, hot, and garlicky.  Still, the spices add a really interesting dimension to pumpkin, which so often shows up in rather bland dishes.  Also, the tamarind paste is great in this, adding an acidity that nevertheless matches the sweetness of the squash.

Pumpkin Coconut Curry (1)

2 TB canola oil
1 red onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, diced
2 green chilies, diced
1 tsp of each fenugreek, mustard and fennel seeds
250g pumpkin, peeled and cut into chunks
pinch of turmeric 
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 TB curry powder
200 ml coconut cream
400 ml water

1. Heat oil in a large pan, sauté onion, garlic, and green chili until they are aromatic. Stir in fennel, mustard, fenugreek seeds, followed by pumpkin chunks.
2. Season pumpkin chunks with turmeric powder, black pepper, tamarind paste, curry powder and salt to taste. Stir well till pumpkin chunks are coated with spices.
3. Add coconut cream and 400 ml water, mix well and cook covering the lid for 5-10 minutes till pumpkin is soft.  Serves 3-4.

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