All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015
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So – my friend David showed me a picture of a party he threw in his back yard & I saw hundreds (ok – dozens) of pumpkins and my imagination went crazy. I knew most of those pumpkins – if not all – would end up sitting out & rotting until they got tossed. So – I got bold and asked for one. And he happily delivered one. Here she is:
That thing is about the size of a basketball – maybe a bit bigger. I used 1/4 of it for this recipe. This curry is so easy & so yummy – I REALLY hope you do not throw your holiday pumpkins away. And know – even if cooking with pumpkin doesn’t interest you – you should AT LEAST get all those seeds out and make my EASY Homemade Crunchy Roasted Pumpkin Seeds – seen above.
This recipe is very easy & comes together faster than your rice probably will – but curries like this tend to improve in the next day or two – as the flavors get really saturated & blend together.
I used Thai basil & kaffir lime leaves (kaffir lime leaves seen above) from my local Thai market & I recommend using them if these ingredients are available to you. If they are not available – regular basil & lime zest will suffice.
I used Beyond Meat chicken in this & I recommend it very highly as the best vegan chicken on the market. I thawed mine & then cut the strips into irregular chunks. You can chop them or not – your call.
In order to not slip & cut my hand off – I put the pumpkin in my sink – stem side down the drain – to stabilize it. To peel the pumpkin – cut it into smaller pieces. It peels far more easily that way.
Vegan Spicy Thai Pumpkin & Chicken Curry
SERVES 4 with rice
1/4 of a basketball-sized pumpkin or equivalent – peeled & cubed
9 oz vegan chicken
1 small onion – diced
1-3 TBS red curry paste (according to your tolerance for heat – I used 3 TBS)
1-2 (15 oz) cans coconut milk (I used lite) – this amount is flexible based on how much pumpkin you have & how wet you like your curries (I like mine wet)
6 kaffir lime leaves – cut (like in my photo above) to release flavor (or 1+ TBS lime zest)
1 TBS turmeric
1 TBS brown sugar
Juice of one lime (2+ TBS)
1 cup water (or veggie stock)
Handful of Thai (or other) basil – chopped
Bird’s eye chilies (I used 6 but quickly fished them out because the curry got VERY spicy VERY fast) – optional (or use a serrano or jalapeno pepper – if you love heat)
1 TBS Cornstarch (optional)
Cooked rice (I used brown jasmine)
GARNISH OPTIONS – lime wedges, more basil, cilantro, sliced jalapenos
Heat a little (1 TBS?) olive oil & saute the onion until soft. Add 1/2 can coconut milk & the red curry paste. Whisk to blend & bring to a boil. Add everything else except the basil. Bring to a boil then lower heat & simmer until the pumpkin is soft – maybe 20 minutes. If the curry is too thin – keep cooking until it thickens OR – whisk 1 TBS cornstarch into 1/4 cup water & add to the simmering curry. It should thicken more quickly this way. Adjust seasonings.
When ready to serve – add the basil. Serve with warm rice and garnish as you choose.
See? EASY! Ain’t you glad you didn’t throw that pumpkin away?