This is a thick, creamy curry from Sri Lanka made from beautiful pumpkin cooked in coconut milk. It is tempered with spices and onions, adding an amazing aromatic and flavoursome note to the creamy curry.
The coconut milk base of the curry is flavoured with the Asian tropical flavours of pandan, chilli, curry leaves, Asian shallots and kaffir lime leaves. The Sri Lankan curry powder, Badapu Thuna Paha, is used too, but use a roasted curry powder if you don’t have this or don’t have time to make it. Simply roast your curry powder in a dry pan until it is aromatic and a darker colour but not burnt.
Flavours are layered so well in this curry, with unroasted chilli powder layered with the roasted Sri Lankan curry powder. (BTW, if you don’t have unroasted chilli powder, grind some Indian dried red chillies, or just use the chilli powder that you have.)
Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Coconut Curry
750g Butternut Pumpkin (aka Butternut Squash)
4 small shallots, sliced
2 green chillies
8 – 10 curry leaves
1 kaffir lime leaf
8cm pandanus leaf, cut into 4
1 tspn unroasted Indian chilli powder
1 tspn turmeric powder
0.5 tspn fenugreek seeds
1.5 tspn Badapu Thuna Paha (or a roasted curry powder – see notes above)
sea salt to taste
500ml coconut milk
250 ml coconut cream
2 Tblspn coconut oil or ghee
1 tspn brown mustard seeds
2 small shallots
8 – 10 curry leaves
Seed the pumpkin and cut into 4 cm cubes. Place in a heavy pot with the other ingredients (except the tadka ingredients). Mix to combine. There should be enough coconut milk and cream to cover the pumpkin.
Simmer on low for 10 – 15 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender. Stir the curry occasionally so that the coconut milk does not split. Remove from the heat.
For the tadka, heat the coconut oil or ghee in a tadka pan or small saucepan. Add the mustard seeds and when they pop, add the shallots and curry leaves and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until the shallots are dark brown and starting to crisp a little.
Stir half of the tadka into the curry, and place the curry in a serving dish. Garnish with the rest of the tadka.
This dish can be served with pol roti, roti or paratha, and rice.