Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Recipe: Thai Pumpkin Curry

My wife, like many people, used to hate curry. She hated all Indian foods actually. To someone like me and the billions of other curry lovers out there, that is simply hard to believe. The range of curries are too wide with too many regional influences and nuances for anyone to say "I hate curry".

I think the real reason someone may not like curry is because they've had one that they didn't like and judge all the others based on that decision. I think that probably goes with entire cuisines. How can anyone dislike an entire cuisine? How can you reject all Indian, Thai or Japanese food based on small samplings? That's like not liking a hot dog and because of it ignoring all other American dishes! Keep daring yourself to try things.

The dish below was the transitional one for my wife. With it, she went from curry hater, to Thai curry lover. Shortly afterward she became an Indian curry lover as well, and then an Indian and Thai food lover.

It's been inspiring to watch and sure makes dining out and cooking at home a great deal more interesting!

Thai Pumpkin Curry

2 cans of coconut milk
1.5 to 2 lbs. of London Broil or similar beef cubed (or pork or chicken)
3 TBS yellow curry paste
2 TBS fish sauce
1 TBS palm sugar (or similar sugar)
4 TBS tamarind juice
6 green cardamom pods
1 stick of cinnamon
3 cups of sugar pumpkin (cubed)
1.5 cups of potato (cubed)
3/4 cup carrots (cubed)
1 onion (frenched)
1/2 cup of roasted peanuts
Juice of half a lime
Chopped cilantro and Thai basil

Place a large pan over high heat. Pour in all the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Add the meat and lower to a simmer. For beef, simmer for 30-40 minutes. For chicken or pork simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the curry paste and stir until it dissolves into the coconut milk and meat mixture. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind juice, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, pumpkin, potatoes, carrots and onions. Continue simmering for 15 to 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Add the roasted peanuts to the curry and mix well. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes.

Add the lime juice and chopped cilantro/basil. Reserve some as a garnish.

Serve hot in bowls accompanied with sticky or jasmine rice.


  1. Thanks for sharing this. I made for my family's Thanksgiving celebration.

    While it as very tasty, I wondered if you had any suggestions on making it more spicy. Thanks.

  2. Hello Erica,

    Yes, if you'd like it spicy you just need to add some Thai bird's eye peppers or your favorite hot pepper. You could even get buy on jalapenos. If using bird's eye pepper be sure to test as you add as they can be very hot.