Another curry? I hear you exclaim – (I thought she didn’t like making curries). Odd and miraculous as it may seem, dear reader, I DO have another curry. It’s a bit confused (Indian curry? Thai curry? It’s really not sure.) but its confusion in no way effects its incredible flavour. (And it’s speedy to make).
A few weekends ago, we went over to my parents’ house for lunch. Mum served a blended version of this curry as a soup (minus the tofu and the green beans), and I was blown away. It was just so good. And because my mother is truly generous, she shared her recipe with me, and now I’m sharing it with you, because everybody needs something this delicious.
Let’s talk about curry leaves. They’re pretty damn awesome. The bunch I bought from the markets cost $1 for nearly a year’s supply. Curry leaves can be used both fresh (Indian curries flash fry them in hot oil and then the mixture is stirred into dhals, curries, etc) and dried (like in this recipe). They are incredible fragrant and give this curry a flavour that sort of floats around your mouth, teasing you with familiarity.
You can dry curry leaves by placing them in a single layer (still attached to the stem is fine), and in an oven set at 100 C (210 F) for 10-15 minutes (check to make sure they don’t burn). They should feel crispy and crunchy. Remove from the oven, and cool; the leaves should easily pull off the stems. Store in an airtight container. (You can also freeze fresh curry leaves – pop them in a zip-loc bag and freeze. Grab a few out when needed.)
This is, I feel, a very customisable recipe. Add whatever green vegetable you feel like (bok choy or broccoli would both be amazing). Add cubed tofu (or tempeh) to the pot, instead of baking it (though tofu croutons are so crunchy-outisde/chewy-inside good that I highly recommend them). Serve over rice (brown, basmati, jasmine), or noodles (rice, soba, udon). Heck, even a squeeze of lime wouldn’t go astray over this curry.
Yellow Pumpkin Curry
- As noted above, this is very much YOUR curry, feel free to add in or substitute different vegetables for the green beans. Serve with whatever base (rice, noodles, etc), you like.
- This is a mild curry (Adam doesn’t like spicy food, so I tend to cook things to be very mild). Serve with chilli sauce or slices of fresh chilli if you prefer more heat.
- Once the pumpkin is tender, DO NOT stir vigorously (otherwise you’ll end up with pumpkin soup). Handle with care, perfectly cooked pumpkin is a dainty creature.
- 600 g peeled and deseeded pumpkin, cut into large chunks (my piece of pumpkin was ~900 g before I deseeded and peeled it)
- 1 tbsp olive/coconut/sunflower oil
- 1 red onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
- 1 green chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
- 10 dried curry leaves
- 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbsp gluten-free soy sauce
- 400 mL can coconut milk
- 200 mL water
- 160 g (a really good handful) green beans, trimmed and sliced into 2 inch lengths
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- coriander leaves, to serve
- tofu croutons, to serve (see below)
In a large saucepan, over medium-low heat, heat the oil. Add onion, ginger, garlic and chilli. Sauté gently for 5-10 minutes, until soft (if the mixture starts to stick, add a dash of water). While this is cooking, gently crush the curry leaves in a mortar and pestle (you won’t get a powder, but you just want to break them up a bit). When the onion mixture is soft, add the curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, and turmeric to the pan and cook for one minute. Add the pumpkin, coconut milk, water, and soy sauce. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat, simmering gently until the pumpkin is just tender (~15 minutes).
Meanwhile, prepare the tofu croutons (see below), and with the mortar and pestle, gently bruise the mustard seeds. Once the pumpkin is tender, add the green beans and mustard seeds. Return the boil and cook for a further 5 minutes.
To serve, gently ladle spoonfuls of the curry over rice or noodles. Top with the tofu croutons and sprigs of fresh coriander. Enjoy!
makes enough to garnish 4 meals
- Tofu croutons are great over almost any soup, curry or salad; adding texture and protein.
- Feel free to experiment with flavours! Chinese-five spice croutons over stir-fry, or za’atar croutons over a tagine, sound good to me.
- 200 g firm tofu, cubed small (~1 cm or 1/2 inch)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- sea salt
- freshly cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 220 C (425 F). Toss cubed tofu with oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a lined baking try in a single layer. Bake for 15 minutes, or until browned and crispy. Remove from the oven and garnish away! If you have leftovers, they can be stored in the fridge for 3-5 days.