Vegan Spicy Thai Pumpkin & Chicken Curry

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Vegan Spicy Thai Pumpkin & Chicken Curry

SERVES 4 with rice

INGREDIENTS

1/4 of a basketball-sized pumpkin or equivalent – peeled & cubed

9 oz vegan chicken

1 small onion – diced

Olive oil

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

S&P

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

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DIRECTIONS

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?

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