Please Pass the Recipe

sharing recipes from one generation to the next

Indian Vegie Feast #6 – spicy pumpkin, coconut and curry leaf

Spicy pumpkin, coconut and curry leaf

Spicy pumpkin, coconut and curry leaf

Delicious memories of India and pumpkin curries enriched with the sweet flavour of coconut inspired this recipe.

During an afternoon of hands-on cooking at a charming little holiday village surrounded by spice plantations high on the Western Ghats of Kerala, I was introduced to the flavour synergy of pumpkin, curry leaf and coconut. The recipe I brought away with me involves intense and laborious processes before you can even begin to cook, but having wisely discarded the hare-brained notion of grating fresh coconuts to make rich and unctuous extractions of  coconut milk myself so all I had to do was pop the lid on a can of coconut milk.

While my recipe was inspired by the Pumpkin Kootu from The Spice Village, the ingredient list is different and so is the method. The flavour however brings memories flooding back to me.

Spicy pumpkin, coconut and curry leaf  – serves 4 with other dishes

2 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 sprig curry leaves (12-14)

600g peeled pumpkin cut into chunks 4cm X 4cm

1 teaspoon red chilli flakes

1 green chilli, deseeded and sliced

2 teaspoons grated ginger

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup water

1/2 cup thick coconut milk

Heat the oil in a wide shallow pan over a medium heat.

Add the mustard, cumin seeds and curry leaves. Fry until they sizzle and pop.

Add the pumpkin, chilli, ginger, turmeric salt and water.

Stir to thoroughly combined, bring to pan to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer then cover tightly and leave over a low heat until the pumpkin is cooked, 10-15 minutes.

Shake the pan from time to time to ensure the pumpkin doesn’t stick but avoid stirring the pumpkin.

Uncover the pan, then turn up the heat and rapidly reduce the liquid until almost dry.

Remove the pan from the heat, add the coconut milk and very gently mix it through the pumpkin.

Serve immediately.


About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs

10 comments on “Indian Vegie Feast #6 – spicy pumpkin, coconut and curry leaf

  1. Pingback: Chettinad Chicken | Please Pass the Recipe

  2. Lisa @ cheergerm
    March 24, 2017

    I like how the pumpkin holds together and doesn’t go too mushy. A beautiful combo of spices in this.


  3. Francesca
    March 24, 2017

    I like the method use here Sandra. Adding all the liquid at then end seems to allow the pumpkin to maintain its shape. Delicious.


  4. Tracey O'Brien
    March 24, 2017

    I am loving your posts with all these delicious Indian recipes. Pumpkin and coconut – gorgeous. And I love the spice combination. Beautiful photo.


    • ladyredspecs
      March 24, 2017

      Thanks Tracey, glad you’re enjoying them. This is my favourite style of food. I hope I’m inspiring you to cook some vegies, Indian style.


  5. Debi @ My Kitchen Witch
    March 24, 2017

    Great recipe! I sometimes pair winter squash with chilli flakes and cumin seeds, so all I have to do is add a few more spices… Just out of curiosity, what do you mean by pumpkin? The “pumpkins” we get here in Greece have firmer orange flesh ones that those we got back in the US (think big round jack o’lanterns). European pumpkins remind me more of butternut and other winter squashes in texture and flavour.


    • ladyredspecs
      March 24, 2017

      I’m talking about the firm orange fleshed variety. Butternut is known as pumpkin here and would be perfect for this recipe. The only “squash” you see in Oz is the small pattypan pan variety which would fit into the palm of your hand.


  6. chefkreso
    March 23, 2017

    Love your Indian recipes 😀


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