As far as I can tell, Americans mainly use pumpkins for two things: Pies and carving.
Any other use is generally frowned upon.
Meanwhile, all over the world people are having many delicious (and savory) meals based on the orange gourd.
One of the best ways to use pumpkin in a dish besides pie is to make a pumpkin curry
. The slightly sweet pumpkin pairs great with the spicy curry.
It’s a dish that I swear is worth the trouble of peeling and dicing a pumpkin.
It turns out that we carve pumpkins here because 1) they look cool and 2) they are sturdy as all get out. So unfortunately the hardest part of this entire recipe is just getting one peeled and diced.
Don’t even try to do this with a standard vegetable peeler. It’ll never work and you’ll drive yourself crazy.
The best way I’ve found to dismantle one of these suckers is to slice it in half horizontally (top right) and then use a paring knife to slowly peel around the outside of the gourd (bottom left).
The skin is a lot thicker than you think. Don’t worry if you cut into the pumpkin flesh a bit. There’s plenty to go around.
Once you get the pumpkin skinned, go ahead and scoop out the seeds and insides from each half. Save the seeds for later!
Phew! That’s seriously the hardest part of this entire recipe.
Now you can just dice up your pumpkin into 1-inch cubes.
Besides the pumpkin, you do need a few other veggies that will require some chopping. Luckily, all of these are pretty straightforward.
The only other ingredient that might be strange to some people (and is kind of optional in this recipe) is lemongrass.
If you’ve never used lemongrass before, you’ll get how it got its name right away when you first use it. It looks like a thick grass. It smells like lemons. Easy enough!
You can actually just throw the stalks in whole to season the dish, but I like to actually peel the stalks and dice up the softer interior part of the stalks.
Cut the stalks in half and then peel off a few of the thick layers until the soft interior is exposed. Dice that up and you’re ready to go!
Ok. Time to really make the curry. It’s easy sailing from here.
Start by adding some oil to a large pot over medium heat. Then add the peppers and onions and cook them for a few minutes until they start to soften.
Then stir in the curry paste! I recommend about 2-3 tablespoons of paste. Go crazy if you want though.
Stir the paste in with the veggies so it cooks for a minute or two. It’ll get really fragrant which means you are on the right track.
Then go ahead and dump your pumpkin cubes in and stir to coat them well with the paste.
Next, pour in the milk, stock, and brown sugar. The tiny amount of sugar gives the curry a very slight sweetness.
Bring this all to a simmer and let it cook for about 10 minutes until the pumpkin is soft.
Meanwhile, remember those seeds you saved? Toss them with about a teaspoon of oil and Kosher salt and lay them out on a baking sheet. Bake them at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes for a nice little snack.
Sorry. Got distracted. Back to the curry!
After the pumpkin is soft, use a spoon or fork to lightly mash up some of the pumpkin cubes. These mashed pieces will thicken the sauce some.
At this point, it’s basically done!
I wouldn’t let it cook too much past this point or the pumpkin will turn completely to mush. You want the cubes to have some texture.
This is one of those vegetable dishes that even meat eaters will love. It’s completely filling, spicy, and just all around perfect for a cool Fall night. Serve it with some rice and naan bread and you’ll be in heaven.
Nick is worried that pumpkin costs will skyrocket once people realize that you can actually
eat them. Be sure to follow his blog, Macheesmo, and connect with him on his Tablespoon Profile.