Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thai Pumpkin Curry: The Recipe

As sure as October leads to November, these months also lead to one thing for me: pumpkin obsession. From the Pumpkin Ravioli at Becco to the Pumpkin Pie Concrete at Shake Shack, I swoon for anything that is made with everyone's most beloved gourd. This is why Thai Pumpkin Curry (available YEAR ROUND at most Thai restaurants!) holds a secure position in my top three Thai restaurant choices. In no particular order, they are:

  • Pumpkin Curry
  • Pineapple Fried Rice
  • Cashew Tofu

As much as I love Pumpkin Curry, however, I have never actually made it. So this week is the week. Curry paste can be purchased, but I would love to know how to make it, so I'll give it a whirl!

The recipe I chose is from Thai Table, which has a plethora (or maybe, given the season, I should say cornucopia!) of Thai recipes, an illustrated ingredient glossary, and a search function for Thai restaurants and markets. The Pumpkin Curry recipe looks delicious and straightforward, and despite the fact that the recipe authors used the word "mouth feel" in the description (eew), the taste and texture should both be lovely. I hope to make mine early and simmer it until the cows come home. This should add to the "mouth feel" (couldn't resist). This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and can be adapted to fit varying levels of spice tolerance. Serve with your favorite rice (Thai Table recommends jasmine).

I'll be starting my meal with Mini Thai Shrimp Lettuce Wraps and finishing it up with Peach Frozen Yogurt. Can't wait!
Hearty, healthy, and comforting... perfect combination

The Recipe: Vegetarian Pumpkin Curry, adapted from Thai Table
Yield: 8 servings
Ingredients:
  • 2 chile peppers (make your spiciness decision here)
  • 2 cups coconut milk
  • 8-10 kaffir lime leaves
  • 2 lb. pumpkin (the eating, not the carving kind)
  • 6-8 sprigs Thai basil
  • 2 cups water
  • 2-4 tbsp. vegetarian red curry paste (see recipe below)
Preparation:
  • Slice pumpkin open and remove seeds.
  • Cut the pumpkin into chunks and cut off the peel.
  • Cut the pumpkin flesh into 1 1/2 inch cubes.
  • Remove basil and kaffir lime leaves from stem.
  • Julienne red chili pepper.
  • Pour half of the coconut milk into a pot over medium heat. 
  • Add the red curry paste and mix it well, stirring frequently. When the reddish oil starts to form, stir some more.
  • Add the pumpkin and stir to coat with curry sauce.
  • Add the rest of the coconut milk and water.
  • Season gradually with salt, tasting frequently (the curry paste provides plenty of salt, so you don't want to add too much)
  • Simmer the pumpkin until soft, about 15 minutes, and longer if you want a thicker curry.
  • Add basil, kaffir lime leaves, and sliced chile.
  • Serve hot with rice.
This recipe did not have a yield, but it should make plenty for the Pumpkin Curry and beyond
The Other Recipe: Vegetarian Red Curry Paste, adapted from Thai Table
Ingredients:
  • 4-5 dried whole chiles (make your spiciness decision here)
  • 1/2 cup shallots, peeled
  • 1/4 cup garlic, peeled
  • 3-4 tbsp lemongrass, chopped finely
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp galangal (ginger works too)
  • 1 tbsp cilantro root (the stem can work too, but it is a little stronger)
  • 1 tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp kaffir lime zest
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
Preparation:
  • Soak chiles for 10 minutes until soft. Remove the stem and seeds. Squeeze out water.
  • With a mortar and pestle, grind together peppercorns, cumin, and coriander.
  • Add all other ingredients to a food processor (or keep it traditional with the mortar and pestle) and blend until it is a firm, red-orange paste.
  • To save for later, you can refrigerate for a few weeks or freeze for up to a year.
Time to memorize: 3 days

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever thought of changing your mealtime? Maybe to something a little more accessible on hurricane days, like 5:30pm?

    ReplyDelete