Thai Pumpkin Curry is a quick, easy to make, 1-pot recipe that is made with fresh pumpkin cubes, vegetables, red curry paste, and coconut milk. It is a hearty, delicious, and comforting vegan dinner!
What actually is a Thai curry?
The term “Thai curry” refers both to dishes in Thai cuisine that are made with various types of curry paste and also to the pastes themselves (some common types include red, yellow, and green. A Thai curry dish is usually made with curry paste, coconut milk or water, meat, seafood, vegetables or fruit, and herbs. It has a texture similar to stew and is often eaten with a spoon alongside jasmine rice.
What is the difference between curry in India and Thailand?
Curries in Thai cuisine differ from curries in Indian cuisine in their use of primary ingredients such as herbs and leaves instead of a mix of spices. The term “curry” is fairly Westernized, as each dish has a traditional name that we often forget about in the States. Red curry (what this recipe is modeled off of) is inspired by Kaeng phet. It’s good to be aware of the true origins of these recipes! Today’s recipe for pumpkin curry is very much an “inspired” and a Westernized take, not an authentic interpretation.
What are the main types of curry paste?
In the West, the most common kinds of curry paste you will find in the store are red, yellow, and green. These all start with the same base ingredients.
|Type of Curry Paste||Main Ingredients||Taste|
|Red (kreung gaeng phet daeng)||Dried hot chili peppers such as bird’s eye and Thai long||Spicy, rich, firey|
|Yellow (nam prik gaeng karee)||Fresh turmeric, yellow chiles, curry powder||The most mild, slightly sweet|
|Green (kreung gaeng keo wahn)||Fresh chili peppers with cilantro and kaffir lime leaves||Fairly mild, herbaceous|
What is red curry paste made of?
Thai curries always have a flavor base of curry paste. This can be made at home at bought at the store for convenience. Thai Kitchen is a brand that I like, as it is vegan. It is made with red chili pepper, garlic, lemongrass, salt, shallot, coriander root, and kaffir lime peel. Other kinds of curry paste can include galangal, fish sauce, and shrimp paste.
For another recipe that uses red curry paste, try this recipe for Spicy Peanut Dip!
Ingredients Needed for this Recipe
- 2 TBS coconut oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- Sea salt, used throughout
- 2 TBS fresh ginger, grated
- 4 small cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1-2 red bell peppers
- 3-4 TBS red curry paste
- 4 cups cubed sugar pumpkin or butternut squash
- 2 cans coconut milk
- 2 TBS maple syrup
- 1 TBS soy sauce (sub coconut aminos for gluten free)
- 1-2 cups chopped broccoli, optional
- 1 cup chopped kale, optional
- 2-3 TBS fresh lime juice
- For serving: cooked rice or quinoa, Thai basil, cilantro
How to Prepare Pumpkin Curry
1. Add coconut oil to a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add shallot and sauté for a few minutes until lightly browned. Add salt, fresh ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Stir 30 seconds until fragrant.
2. Add bell peppers and curry paste, stirring to coat. Let cook for 1-2 minutes then add squash.
3. Pour in coconut milk, maple syrup, and soy sauce. If your vegetables are not fully submerged, add a cup or so of water. Bring to a simmer on medium heat. Once simmering, reduce head to low and cover. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until squash is tender and cooked through.
4. Remove lid and add broccoli and kale. Let cook about 3 more minutes then remove from heat. Stir in lime juice. Taste and season to your preference, adding more salt, curry paste, or lime juice. Serve with rice or quinoa and Thai basil (or cilantro). This curry will keep in a covered container in the fridge for about 5 days.
Tips for Making the Most Flavorful Pumpkin Curry
- Do not be afraid to add more seasonings after the curry has cooked on the stove! I really enjoy adding a lot of lime juice for tang. Adding more curry paste will amp up the spice, while maple syrup will help balance heat.
- If you do not like spicy food, this could be made with yellow curry paste (which is more mild). You can also limit the amount of red pepper flakes added. This is not a very spicy dish (in my opinion), so if you really like spicy food I recommend adding more red pepper flakes!
- This curry really tastes restaurant-quality when full fat coconut milk is used.
- Add some fresh herbs such as cilantro and Thai basil when serving.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for easy vegan pumpkin curry! If you like Thai dishes, try this
20-Minute Peanut Coconut Soup next (it is inspired by laska).Print