Pumpkin Curry

I’m not the type of person who likes her food spicy and will add chili to everything and anything. My fiancé, however, is and he took a liking to Indian cuisine in particular. It’s not even I didn’t like Indian food but I never dealt with it a lot and on those rare occasions when I had a taste of it my experience was far from pleasant. Nevertheless, I was persistent and decided to adjust the spiciness a bit so it would be edible for me and at the same time it would preserve a bit of kick factor.

Since this is the first curry recipe I put here let me write a bit about curries in general. For some of you it can be an unnecessary and too obvious chatter but for me it was a novelty to read and learn some facts about this dish so here’s what I discovered:

  • curry as a dish can be widely defined. From vegetarian to meat and from mild to extra hot, so although some ingredients are a must you can still adjust their amount and make it work for you. Originally the amount and type of spices used was pretty much the result of the hot and moist climate which made storing meat over longer periods of time fairly difficult. Therefore spices were used not only for taste but also as antiseptic and bactericidal agent.
  • onion plays a big part in determining the final flavor of the dish. It should be sliced very thinly and constantly stirred while frying. If undercooked it will give raw flavor, if too much browned it will color the dish. The onion is ready just when it starts to turn golden.

These I found in a little bit outdated book from 1988 (Kari na bananowym liściu), it all, however, sounded logical. This recipe is a variation on another one I found online: kayotickitchen. I adjusted it in terms of spice and by addition of chickpeas. This pumpkin curry will surprise you with sweetness. I found it quite delicious and worth my efforts to share it with the world.

Ingredients:

  • 1 small pumpkin (around 1kg)
  • 150 gr canned chickpeas
  • 2 onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3cm fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chili flakes
  • ½ tbsp ground lemon grass
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 6 cardamon seeds
  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 250 ml coconut milk
  • 125ml vegetable broth
  • ½ tbsp dried mint
  • ½ tbsp salt
  • lime juice from ½ lime
  • fresh coriander

Preparation:

Wash, peel and deseed the pumpkin. Chop into smaller chunks, around 0,5 cm thick. Not too small though so they don’t fall apart while cooking and not too thick so they manage to become tender. Chop onions and fry them until soft on olive oil. Then add grated ginger root and garlic along with all other spices. You can also add a spoon of tomato paste, which will improve color as well as taste but this is optional and not entirely traditional in a curry. Continue frying for around 30 seconds and then add two well chopped tomatoes. Add 1 handful of chopped fresh coriander (along with stalks), all of your pumpkin, coconut milk and vegetable broth. Simmer for 10 minutes without the lid on medium heat. Then put in chickpeas and simmer another 10 to 15 minutes. 5 minutes before end of cooking pour in lime juice. You can check occasionally if the pumpkin is already tender to be able to take it off the heat in time. Sprinkle with fresh coriander on top.

Serve with basmati rice or naan.

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