Spicy Indian pumpkin curry

Spicy Indian pumpkin curry

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About this recipe: This is a popular vegetarian dish in Kerala, South India. It's made during the festivals and is an extremely nutritious and tasty curry that's rich in antioxidants and vitamins. What's vital to the dish, however, is the process of frying the coconut in the end to season the dish. This imparts a unique flavour and aroma to this curry.

Asha N Basu

Serves: 4 

  • 600g cubed fresh pumpkin
  • 500ml water, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • salt to taste
  • 50g grated coconut
  • 3 dried red chilli peppers
  • 1 green chilli pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water, or as needed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, divided
  • 2 dried red chilli peppers
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon skinned split black lentils (urad dal)
  • 1 tablespoon grated coconut
  • 6 fresh curry leaves, or more to taste

Prep:15min  ›  Cook:25min  ›  Ready in:40min 

  1. Place pumpkin in a large pot. Pour 500ml of water over the pumpkin so the cubes are floating. Season pumpkin and water with turmeric and salt. Bring the mixture to the boil and cook until the pumpkin is tender yet firm enough to retain shape, about 15 minutes.
  2. Grind 50g grated coconut, 3 red chilli peppers, green chilli pepper, 2 tablespoons water and cumin seeds in a food processor until you have a paste; stir into the pumpkin mixture and bring to the boil. Cook until the liquid has thickened and coats the pumpkin cubes, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour the curry into a large serving bowl.
  3. Heat 2 teaspoons coconut oil in a small pan over medium-high heat. Cook 2 dried red chilli peppers, mustard seeds and black lentils in hot oil until they sputter, 2 to 3 minutes; pour over curry.
  4. Heat remaining teaspoon coconut oil in the pan. Fry 1 tablespoon grated coconut in the hot oil until completely browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Scatter on top of the curry. Garnish the dish with curry leaves.

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