I’m one of those people who, when it’s pumpkin season, tries to put it in everything. Main courses, desserts, cakes, if I can get it in there I will. I also try to hang onto them as long as I can. Whether I’m freezing the flesh or keeping them whole for as long as they will stay that way, when October comes around, I become a hoarder of giant squashes (It’s January as I write this and I have two in my hallway, just waiting to be converted into something delicious).
This dish combines some of my favourite ingredients, in particular pumpkin and mango, which I adore and are so rarely put together. I use coconut oil for making curries almost exclusively these days, as its subtle flavour lends itself really well to this kind of cooking. Whole spices are essential for this for their flavours to infuse without becoming overpowering. As a result, this curry is mild and sweet, yet incredibly robust.
If it’s not pumpkin season and you haven’t got any stored, then you can easily switch it with butternut squash for this recipe.
Prep time: 20 minutes: Cooking time: about 50 minutes
2 tbsp coconut oil
¼ large pumpkin, peeled, deseeded and diced (or one medium butternut squash)
Salt and pepper
3 whole dried chillies
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1 cinnamon stick
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 green cardamom pods
1 red onion, sliced
1 red pepper, diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp mild curry powder
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbsp ground paprika
3 tbsp dairy-free yoghurt
1 mango, peeled and diced
1 can coconut milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Heat half of the coconut oil in a large wok or saucepan and cook the pumpkin for 15-20 minutes, without a lid, until it is soft. Season with the salt and pepper about 5 minutes before the end of cooking. Once the pumpkin is cooked, remove it from the pan and set it aside.
Clean out your pan and heat the rest of the coconut oil in it, then add the chillies, cinnamon stick, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and cardamom. Cook for 2 minutes on a gentle heat then add the onions and peppers and fry for 4-5 minutes, stirring often. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, then put in the rest of the spices and the yoghurt.
Stir thoroughly and then add the diced mango. Cook for 3 more minutes and then put the pumpkin back in the pan. Pour in the coconut milk, season to taste and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until you have a nice, thick sauce.
Serve with rice.