What I especially love about adding pumpkin to this curry dish is the extra velvetiness it lends. Instead of adding cream to thicken the curry, pumpkin adds smoothness and flavor. The recipe is similar to the previous Vegetarian Thai Red Curry with acorn squash. This time, however, the squash (in this case pumpkin) is pureed rather than served as cubes. Also in this recipe I add chicken to create more substance to the curry. The flavors do not come across as overwhelmingly pumpkin, but rather a subtle taste of the sweet squash.
Pumpkin puree is very easy to make at home and tastes a million times better than the store-bought kind. You cut the pumpkin in half and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Cut it into quarters and place on a baking sheet to roast for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees F. Once roasted, use a knife to peel off the pumpkin skin. Place the remaining pumpkin in a food processor, and blend until puree forms (add a splash of water if necessary). You only need about 1/3 cup for this recipe, which can be adjusted to taste. The rest of it can be frozen for later on.
Slightly sweet yet mainly spicy, this smooth curry is not for the faint of heart. The coconut milk and lime juice help to taper some of the spice, but if you are sensitive to spice you should decrease the amount of red curry paste. I like about a tablespoon. Start with a small amount, and remember you can always add more later on. Then cook up a big pot of this chicken pumpkin curry to enjoy day after day.
- 1 tbsp coconut oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 1/3 cups coconut milk
- 1/3 cup pureed pumpkin
- 1 1/2 lbs. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1-2 tsp lime juice
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 3 tbsp cashews, toasted
- Melt the coconut oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 4-5 minutes until soft. Add the bell pepper, garlic, and salt and stir to combine. Cook for an additional minute.
- Add the curry paste to the pan and cook for about a minute, stirring to coat the other ingredients. Add in the coconut milk and pumpkin puree and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and simmer for 10-12 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through. Add lime juice to taste. Sprinkle with cilantro and cashews to serve.