Not sure what to do with that extra can of pumpkin sitting in your cabinet? Or perhaps you want to bring a unique dish to a Thanksgiving potluck? We have you covered! This recipe won’t overwhelm you with pumpkin flavor, but it does add a nice element to traditional coconut milk curry – and will surely impress whoever you’re cooking for. You can also mix up the ingredients based on what you have at home – instead of potatoes (or in addition to), you can use carrots or tofu or tomatoes (if you do use tomatoes, hold off on adding them until the end of step 5 to avoid cooking them down). If you want to throw in some meat, chicken is your best bet since the flavor will mingle well with the curry and not overpower it, like pork or red meat would. Or if you want to make this a vegan recipe, don’t use the fish sauce and instead substitute it with soy sauce.
Thai-Style Pumpkin Curry, serves 4
2 russet potatoes, cubed
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tsp minced galangal or ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium onion, chopped (larger pieces are better)
1 small can of satae sauce or 2 tbsp yellow or red curry + 1 tbsp of peanut butter
2 kaffir lime leaves (dried or fresh)
1 can of sliced bamboo shoots
1 can of water chestnuts (halved, quartered, or pieces)
1 can of pumpkin puree (or 8 oz roasted and pureed pumpkin slices)
1 can of coconut milk
1-2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 lime (at least 1/2 the juice, and add more to taste)
fish sauce (half a tablespoon to start, and add more to taste)
rice or rice noodles
crushed peanuts (optional)
NOTE: Pre-cook the potatoes. Cube them and put them in a pot of cold water. Add a splash of white or rice vinegar to the water, which will help the outside of the potatoes hold their shape as they cook. Then simmer the potatoes over medium-low heat for 20-30 minutes until soft.
Step 1: Heat oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in the galangal/ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant (don’t let them brown).
Step 2: Add onions and saute until slightly soft. Add the curry paste and mix well with pan ingredients. Stir fry for a minute, then add the bamboo shoots, water chestnuts and lime leaves. Stir to incorporate and let cook for another minute or two.
Step 3: Add 1/2 – 3/4 of the can of pumpkin and 1/2 cup of the coconut milk. Stir everything well so the pumpkin starts dispersing and thickening the sauce (add more coconut milk if needed to help with this).
Step 4: When there are no more globs of pumpkin puree, add the rest of the coconut milk, then fill the coconut milk can with water or broth and pour that in as well. Stir to combine, then gently add the potato cubes (see NOTE for pre-cooking instructions) and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.
Step 5: Squeeze in half a lime and half a tablespoon of fish sauce. Stir well and cook for another minute before tasting. If it needs more salty/sweet, add more fish sauce. If it needs more tang, squeeze in lime juice. If the flavor is too concentrated, add more water or broth. (This is where you could add cubes of tomatoes so they retain their shape.)
Serve with rice or rice noodles and cilantro on top. Enjoy!