Friday, November 1, 2013

Pumpkin Curry


One of my absolutely favorite fall traditions is making pumpkin curry. We discovered this three years ago when we first joined our CSA farm and received a half dozen pumpkins during the fall season. Outside of make pies and treats, we had no idea what to do with them! So we searched for some savory recipes and discovered the idea of pumpkin curry. We've played around with recipes and settled on these ingredients. 

We loooooove international cuisine, particularly Thai.  Once upon a time we lived in Minneapolis and had a ton of restaurants at our fingertips so we could be picky little food snobs who would go to one place for curry and another for noodles and another for stir fry. Now that we live in Fargo, that level of selection isn't available to us anymore so we've been forced into the kitchen to experiment and concoct the flavor profiles that we really love. 

If you love creamy, sweet, spicy Thai curry, this recipe is for you! With just a few simple ingredients you can really taste each thing. If you haven't experimented with international cuisine, this is an easy one to start with. 

click above for a link to my easy print google doc

Ingredients:
         1-14oz can coconut milk
         2 TB red curry paste
         1 lb fresh sweet pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
         1 chili pepper (jalapeƱo is great for this)
         4-5 kaffir lime leaves (try your local Asian market for these)
         7-8 thai basil leaves
         1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
         salt, to taste
         1 cup shredded chicken, optional

Directions:
Prepare pumpkin by peeling and removing seeds. Cut into about 1 1/2 inch cubes. Some small and big is good. The smaller cubes will dissolve to thicken the curry. Julienne the pepper. Tear the center stem from the kaffir lime leaves and julienne the Thai basil.

Pour half of the coconut milk into a pot over medium heat. Add the red curry paste and mix it well with coconut milk. Stir to prevent the bottom from sticking and burning. Simmer until a reddish oil ring starts to form, then stir to let the oil bring out the flavor and aroma in the spices.

Add the pumpkin and stir to coat pumpkin with curry sauce. Add the rest of coconut milk and stock. Season with salt; start with a teaspoon and taste. Prepared curry paste can vary in salt content so increase salt to taste. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 25 minutes.

Add sliced pepper and kaffir lime leaves. Add Thai basil. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly and combine flavors.

This is a great make ahead or freezer meal as the flavors will increase as it rests.




A handful of relatively simple ingredients


Prepare pumpkin by cutting into about 1 1/2 inch cubes

Julienne basil and pepper. Tear lime leaves from step and tear or chop into smaller pieces

Let coconut milk and curry paste simmer to bring the oil out

Add pumpkin and stir to coat pumpkin in curry. Add the other half of the coconut milk and stock. Simmer until pumpkin is tender and smaller pieces break apart to thicken the curry. Add salt to taste. If you want a slightly sweeter curry, you could also add in a tablespoon or two of brown sugar. 

At the last minute, add the pepper, basil and lime leaves. You can also stir in some precooked chicken at this point if you want to add a protein to the dish.

There it is! Yummy sweet, spicy pumpkin curry.

Happy cooking!

-Nina


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