Pumpkin Curry with Citrus Notes
A delightful curry that is both nutritionally complete and beautiful to serve. This curry is not a common dish in Thailand, but is based on some of the vegetarian Buddhist dishes one can find there. Pumpkin (or squash) is a common Thai ingredient, often found in curries, soups, and even desserts. Instead of tofu or wheat gluten, the following recipe also features chickpeas, which perform as the main protein source along with roasted pumpkin seeds as a topping.
1/2 small pumpkin (3 - 4 cups) or squash
1/2 large yam or 1 sweet potato
1 to 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1 cup chickpeas
2 tablespoons freshly grated orange zest
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 to 2 red chilies
or 1 to 2 teaspoons chili sauce
1 can coconut milk
1 teaspoon tamarind paste
3 tablespoons soy sauce
2 teaspoons brown sugar
juice of 1/2 lime
juice of 1 orange
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
For the curry sauce, prepare all curry sauce ingredients and place them in a food processor or blender. Note: Use a coffee grinder (or spice grinder) to grind up the corainder, cumin, and fennel (or substitute ground coriander and cumin, and leave the fennel seeds whole).
Blitz to create a fragrant Thai curry sauce.
Peel the pumpkin (or squash) and yam (or sweet potato). Chop both into cubes or bite-size chunks.
Warm a wok or large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the curry sauce plus the pumpkin (or squash) and yam (or sweet potato). Stir well.
When the curry begins to boil, reduce heat to medium. Simmer 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until vegetables have softened.
Now add the cherry tomatoes, chickpeas, and orange zest. Stir and simmer for 3 to 4 more minutes.
Taste test the curry for salt and spice. Add a little more soy sauce or a few shakes of sea salt if not salty enough. If not spicy enough for your taste, add more chili or chili sauce; if too spicy, add a little more coconut milk.
To serve, scoop the curry into a large serving bowl, or portion out into individual plates. Accompany with plenty of Thai jasmine rice or coconut rice, and enjoy this colorful and fragrant dish.