How are you all going with “life in lock down?” Okay I hope.
I’ve found myself retreating to my kitchen, my ‘happy place,’ cooking even more than I usually do lately. Which frankly, I didn’t realise was even possible!
Quite a task too, considering my husband is also using my kitchen bench as his ‘office’ (cue serious eye roll!)
Since we’ve cancelled holiday plans this year, I’ve also found myself reminiscing about previous holidays we’ve been fortunate to experience. One of my favourites, not long ago was in Sri Lanka. A stunningly beautiful country, which we thoroughly enjoyed eating our way around and learning how to cook the local cuisine. So many wonderful memories of eating different divinely delicious curries 🙂
Since my cooking classes have had to be put on hold, I thought I’d do a guided, step-by-step post on how to make one of the gorgeous curries we learned in one of the cooking classes we did.
Aptly named Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry, its actually really quick and easy, as you are about to find out.
The lovely thing about Sri Lankan curries is they use only small amounts of a few spices that you hopefully already have to hand, but result in amazingly deep, rich flavours with a lovely aromatic element that I believe comes mostly from curry leaves.
Autumn to me is pumpkin season, so its the perfect time to make this pumpkin curry. Especially when you can get your hands on pumpkin that looks like this one below. Deep orange in colour which translates to a deep intensity of flavour. Perfect for curry.
The best thing about buying organic is that you can keep the skin on. Keeping all those precious nutrients in your food rather than giving them to the worms (we have a worm farm for our compost, but they don’t get much…poor worms!)
This also saves time when it comes to cooking. All you need to do is scoop out the seeds, then cut into chunks. You may notice from the photo below that mine aren’t even in size. This is intentional. Jap pumpkin loves to cook to a lovely mush, so is perfect for soup. But when it comes to curry, its nice to have some texture. Given the larger pieces take longer to cook, they will stay as identifiable pumpkin pieces, while the smaller pieces will melt into the sauce, providing a slightly thicker texture. Yummo!
How To Make Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry
Slice onions and saute along with mustard seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon stick
Cook for a few minutes
Add garlic and ginger that I grated to make a kind of ‘paste’ along with green chilli – as little or as much as you like
I like to use only half a green chilli and remove all the seeds. This way you get the flavour and not too much heat!
Add curry powder, turmeric, cumin, salt, pepper, then pumpkin and toss to coat in the spices
Add coconut milk and water.
Allow to come to a boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 15 mins.
You want the pumpkin to be soft, but still holding its shape.
And to look like this…
Our favourite way to serve this gorgeous pumpkin curry is with a few other curries
And dhal, of course. Always dhal. Darl!
Such a quick and easy curry with few ingredients and maximum flavour that intensifies the following day – if there’s any left that is!
This curry is also a great one to make a big batch of and freeze
There’s something quite satisfying when you make a curry as scrumptious as this with very little effort.
Try it and see for yourself.
I hope you all stay safe and well. And carry on cooking!
- 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
- Extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds (note I like to break these up in a mortar and pestle first)
- 10 to 15 curry leaves
- ½ stick cinnamon
- 1 clove garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
- ½ green chilli, sliced
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- freshly ground black pepper
- 500 grams organic pumpkin, skin on and cubed
- ¾ cup coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup coriander leaves, optional to garnish
- To a large, heavy based pot add sliced onion, some olive oil, mustard seeds, curry leaves and cinnamon. Heat over medium heat until onions soften and start to brown.
- Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Cook for a few minutes, then add curry powder, turmeric, cumin, salt and pepper. Stir to combine.
- Add pumpkin and stir to coat in the spice mix before adding the coconut milk and water.
- Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer. Place lid on pot and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the pumpkin is cooked through but still holding its shape.
- Serve warm topped with coriander and alongside a few other curries and dhal.
Couldn’t resist one more pic…