Pumpkin coconut curry

Pumpkin coconut curry

pumpkin coconut curry top down

A good warming curry is one of my favourite things to eat in cold weather. Being able to transform a bunch of everyday ingredients into a mouth-watering dish with a judicious use of spices feels like culinary wizardry.

One day, I am hoping to be able to visit India and get some curry making lessons from a master. For now, I have to rely on my general cooking knowledge, experience of eating various curries over the years and a method of trial and error.

The spicing of this dish took me a few goes and I’m really pleased with the final result. It is super simple and quick to make and even though dry roasting and then grinding your own spices is preferable to using an already ground one, sometimes speed and convenience are more of a consideration.

This pumpkin coconut curry has a bit of a kick (use less chilli if you don’t like hot food) which is nicely soothed by the cooling coconut sauce. It’s delicious with dry roasted cashews and fresh coriander leaves on top. As curries and stews tend to gain more flavour over time, make this dish a day ahead and I promise that you’ll have a sudden urge to lick your plate clean;).

pumpkin coconut curry close up

pumpkin coconut curry

15 min
30 min
15 min
30 min
  • about 600 g pumpkin or butternut squash, cut into equal size cubes
  • 2 tbsp rapeseed / canola oil
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp finely grated ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • ½-1 hot red chilli, sliced
  • ¼ tsp hot chilli powder
  • 1½ tsp garam masala
  • 1½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1-2 tsp maple syrup
  • a handful of coriander, stalks chopped* + leaves for serving
  • 2 cups / 1 tin full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ tin chopped tomatoes / 1 large tomato (peeled and chopped)
  • about 1¼ tsp fine sea salt
  • lime wedges, to serve
  • handful of cashews, lightly toasted (to serve)
  1. OPTIONAL STEP: I prefer my pumpkin caramelised so instead of cooking it in the curry sauce, I roasted it in the oven. I drizzled it with olive oil, sprinkled with some salt and baked on a baking tray in a 200° C / 390° F oven for about 30 mins.
  2. Heat up oil on a medium heat, in a heavy bottom pan. Once the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and wait until they start popping, stirring from time to time. Wait another minute before adding onion.
  3. Add chopped onion, sweat it gently, stirring from time to time until it gets almost soft.
  4. Add garlic, ginger, fresh chilli and chopped coriander stalks. Cook for 2 minutes stirring frequently so that ginger does not stick to the pan.
  5. Now add all the ground spices and 1 tsp of salt. Reduce the heat to low and coat everything in the pot in spices. Stir frequently, cook for 1-2 minutes until all spices are fragrant.
  6. Add chopped tomatoes and ¼ cup / 60 ml of water. Cook for 2 minutes until tomatoes become mushy.
  7. Add coconut milk and pumpkin. Let everything come to a gentle boil, simmer covered until pumpkin is tender. If you’re roasting the pumpkin, simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.
  8. Taste and adjust spicing if needed. I added a bit more salt and a 2 teaspoons of maple syrup.
  9. Serve with coriander leaves and chopped cashews on top, with basmati rice or a roti. A side of spicy coconut kale goes really well with it too.

* You can leave coriander stalks whole and remove them before serving the curry or chop them up finely and leave them in.

As with most curries and stews, the flavours of this dish benefit from being made a day ahead.

9 g
37 g
26 g
5 g
21 g
*per serving
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57 reviews, 87 comments
This recipe is SO good that my fiancée asked me to marry him half way through the meal 😂🥰. I left out the maple syrup, tomatoes and cashews. 😊👍
    Hahaha, that's brilliant to hear, Pam! Congrats and I expect to be invited to the wedding :P x Ania
This was just perfect… omitted onion and garlic and forgot the maple syrup. This will be added to my favourite recipe list.. thanks for the recipe
    Thank you, Tracie! I'm so glad you enjoyed it! x Ania
I have made that recipe several times and I love it so much I want to make it again this week-end, but with Kabocha squash.
Have you ever tried it with Kabocha squash?
thank you
    Hi Cat,
    I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoy this recipe and that you make it on a regular basis! Thanks for letting me know! I have not used Kabocha in it before but it's such a flavourful squash so I am sure it will be stunning. x Ania
Great recipe - I would change out the canola oil though (it’s toxic) and also avoid tinned tomatoes - find glass instead. With acidic food, the metal cans have a liner which is an endocrine disruptor. Other than that, perfect . Roasting the pumpkin works very well.
    Glad you enjoyed the flavours, Joe! As for your other comments, sure, do that if you like but that's not an opinion everyone shares. Ania
Roland kaval:
Probably the best marsala paste I have made - the dish worked well with *&%$ ( quickly sauteed before addition ) but I omitted the maple syrup - us non Nortern Americans don't need the extra sweetness.
    Great to hear that you enjoyed my curry base, Roland. Thanks for letting me know. Ania
This was a really lovely recipe. I added some chick peas I roasted and omitted the chillis as was making for kids. Made the sauce in my pressure cooker a day ahead, combined to heat through and was full of flavour.
    Thanks Rebecca, that's great to hear tat you and your kids enjoyed this. Ania
This was a delicious curry and used up a Halloween pumpkin. Do you happen to know how many calories are in a serving.? We had this on a low calorie day on our diets. Will make this again. Very nice.
    Thanks Martha, I'm so glad your enjoyed it. Unfortunately, I have no idea about calories - I don't have any means of calculating this kind of information in my current website, but hoping to be able to include it in the next edition - which should be launching in the new year. Ania
Nicola Franks:
What a fabulous curry! Got a pumpkin in my veg box, and this is the perfect warming autumn dish to make with it! Lovely blend of spices, great consistency and flavour. I added some red lentils (pre-cooked) and roasted the pumpkin first, as suggested. Big hit with the family.
    Thanks, Nicola. I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed this curry and thanks so much for taking the time to let me know - much appreciated. Ania
Vidwata Mohta:
Yummilicious. It is fall, and for the first time I am cooking pumpkin 🎃. I loved the idea of roasting it with a drizzle of olive oil. Also being an Indian I had all the spice you mentioned. It was a smooth ride making this aromatic dish! My family polished it off in a jiffy. Changes made omitted garam masala as we don’t like the heat it generates and substituted maple syrup by a pinch of sugar. This is a keeper!
    Thanks so much, Vidwata. I'm delighted to hear that you enjoyed this curry and thanks for taking the time to let me know that you did - much appreciated. Ania
Delicious! 10/10 would recommend. Can’t wait to look for more great recipes here!
    I'm delighted to hear that, Braighlee! And thanks so much for taking the time to let me know that you enjoyed it so much. I hope you'll enjoy my other recipes just as much. Ania
Delicious recipe thank you! I added tamarind paste to offset the sweetness of the pumpkin. Will be making this one again
    Thanks, I am glad to hear that you enjoyed it enough to make it again. Ania
We are on quarantine in the US and I am going to try this tonight with frozen cubed butternut squash. Wish me luck! May add some frozen chopped okra as well - if you have any tips for going from frozen, let me know! Will revert - crazy times and this looks comforting so thanks x
    It is crazy times indeed, Catherine. That could work although I would recommend defrosting cubed butternut squash at room temperature first. Hope it worked well enough and that you enjoyed your meal. x Ania
This recipe has become a family favorite. The flavors are amazing. We are fortunate to live in a place where we can get fresh coconut milk and that takes it to the next level!
    That's Katy, I'm so happy to hear that! And I can only imagine how much better fresh coconut milk must make it taste. Ania
Soo yummy 😋. 👍
    Thank you :)
Hi Ania - This is definitely my new 'go to' vegetarian curry recipe! I have made it with roasted pumpkin and also with roasted butternut squash - the pumpkin held its form better but both were tasty. The spices were a perfect blend , and while Premium coconut milk is always the richer flavour, it was still really good with reduced fat coconut milk. I like to add chickpeas and sometimes cauliflower. I use maple syrup every chance I get, but when I ran out, used brown sugar - yum to that! Served over brown basmati, with steamed baby bok choy. So delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
    Thanks Marlene! I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed it so much! Ania
Oops, I don’t think I hit the star rating when I submitted my comment. Definitely a 5/5!
    Thank you, Sandra! I am delighted to hear that you enjoyed this dish so much! And thank you for taking the time to rate the recipe - much appreciated! x Ania
This was absolutely delicious! I think I could eat it every day and it will definitely be making a regular appearance in our dinner rotation. The only change I made was to eliminate the tomatoes because I’m allergic to them and I “heaped” the spices except for the Chili powder. Thank you for sharing!
Made this tonight and loved it. I used fresh squeezed coconut milk which really made it perfect. This is the first recipe of yours I’ve tried. Now I’ll be sure to try some of your others.
    Thanks, Katy! That's lovely to hear! Ania
Laura Pe:
I love this recipe. It has a great consistency, not too thick, not too runny. Great flavor, nice way to use any leftover pumpkin. I made a few changes to make it more kid friendly: omitted fresh chili, decreased hot chili powder to 1/8 of a teaspoon and used cardamom instead of mustard seeds (I didn't have mustard seeds at home and I love cardamom).
    I'm so pleased to hear that you enjoy it, Laura! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review and rate the recipe - much appreciated! Ania
Fiona Lynne:
My husband cooked this tonight after I sent him the recipe and it was DELICIOUS. Definitely a keeper! Thank you!
    Thanks, Fiona! I'm really happy to hear that! x Ania
Susan A Murphy:
We had been saving a Seminole pumpkin for a special dish and this was just the one to use it in! We made it last night (thankully a double batch) and took it over to my dad's and wife's for dinner. We were all amazed at our good fortune! This was one of the best things I've ever made or eaten. I don't normally like to use so many superlatives, but they are necessary here! We didn't use any hot chilis, and left out the maple syrup, but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. We also made the spicy kale (without the spice) and it too, was fabulous and a perfect accompaniment to this dish. Thank you so much for sharing this! I can't wait to make more of your recipes!
    Thank you, Susan! I am delighted to hear that! x Ania
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