Friday, November 19, 2010

Pumpkin Curry (Thai style) by Michele

My boyfriend loves pumpkin anything. For example, his birthday is in the spring and he always gets pumpkin pie instead of cake (thank god grocery stores stock canned pumpkin when it is not Thanksgiving). Recently, we moved about 48 hours away from our beloved Thai restaurant that makes the best pumpkin curry. For the sake of my grief stricken boyfriend, and my insatiable craving for Thai curry, I came up with this recipe for pumpkin curry.
Pumpkin Curry (Thai style)
For about two years now I have been messing around with my own Thai curry recipes trying to get an authentic Thai taste. It is hard, especially when you don't have tamarind, Kefir lime leaves, and lemon grass laying around. Despite this, I found that as long as you have tamarind paste and a good curry powder you aren't too far off. Fortunately, tamarind paste has a great shelf life, so you don't have to eat Thai curry for weeks straight trying to use the stuff up once you buy a tub of it. If it is not in the ethnic food section of you regular grocery store, try a natural food store or a specialty Asian store.

½ small sugar pumpkin (baked in the oven)
1 large or 2 small potatoes
1 carrot
½ bell pepper
3 Tbs vegetable oil
1 can coconut milk
2 Tbs yellow curry powder
dash of pepper flakes (optional)
2 clove garlic (minced)
½ – 1 inch piece fresh ginger (minced)
2 tsp tamarind paste (a little goes a long way)
4 sprigs Thai basil

Before making the curry...
Prepare the pumpkin by cutting it into thirds, gutting it, and baking it at 350 ยบ until it is tender. Once it is baked, allow it to cool completely before removing the skin. The skin should peel right off. If it is being difficult, use a knife to separate it. I usually bake my pumpkin on a different day, while I am making another dish that doesn't use the oven, and then I store it in the refrigerator until I want to use it.

Make enough rice for two. If you want a little left over about 1 1/2 cups will work. Jasmine goes well with this curry, but really any rice (white or brown) will work.

Now the for the curry...
First, mince your ginger and garlic. To make this easier on yourself, give the ginger and garlic a quick yet hard whack with the flat side of a wide chopping knife. 
Next prepare the vegetables (pumpkin, potatoes, carrot, and bell pepper) by chopping them into nice sized chunks that are roughly bite sized. (If you want to speed up the cooking time you can either microwave or boil the potatoes and carrots.)  
Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed pot on medium heat. Once the oil is warm add the curry powder and pepper flakes. Use your best judgment when using these spices. My tablespoons are usually heaping when it comes to my curry powder. Next throw in the ginger and garlic. Once the spices become fragrant, add the potatoes and carrots. 
**Depending on whether or not you precooked the potatoes and carrots, add up to 1 cup of water to the pot, cover, and let cook until the you are able to poke with a fork. 
After the potatoes are done cooking, add coconut milk, stir, and bring to a simmer. 
Next, stir in the tamarind paste, pumpkin and bell pepper. Allow it to simmer for at least 10 more minutes or until every thing is melded together and tender. 
Prepare the basil by washing it and separating the leaves. Before taking the pot off the stove, turn the heat to low and add the Thai basil. Serve up with your rice, and enjoy.
It is best when the sauce is nice and smooth. If it gets chunky, just add some water or chicken broth and stir the chunks out. If the sauce is not flavorful enough, add some more curry powder or salt to taste. If the sauce is too spicy, add more coconut milk or just milk if you don't have another can of coconut milk. Curry is like making salsa, it usually doesn't turn out the same way twice, but that is another story.
To finish this meal off my boyfriend and I enjoyed some giant red frozen grapes that I had stored in the freezer. Whenever I buy grapes, I usually freeze half of them. I think they taste better when they are frozen, plus it a great finish to a spice meal.


Post a Comment


Two Can Skillet © 2010

Blogger Templates by Splashy Templates