What if I told you you don't need to go out to a restaurant to enjoy a delicious flavorful curry? Would you believe me? Well, try this creamy vegan pumpkin coconut curry and see for yourself! It has become one of my favorite recipes because it is so easy to make and yet so flavorful.
How to Make Creamy Pumpkin Coconut Curry
Have you cooked with fresh cardamom and cumin seeds before? I had never tried using my own spices instead of a spice mix until recently and it was a total gamechanger! It makes such a huge difference.
I think you could best describe it by saying multi-dimensional flavor - like you first taste the cumin seeds, then the coconut milk, then you taste the cardamom and maybe a little bit of the ginger. It really is a burst of flavors in your mouth!
I was always a bit hesitant to try using "proper" spices. Every time I read a curry recipe that had more than 3 different spices in it I thought "Oh come on, this is too complicated! Who's got time for this?" I was so wrong! It actually is not complicated it all. You can buy the spices once and they last forever. Yes, maybe it takes 2 minutes longer - but that 2 minutes are well invested.
The creaminess of this curry comes from the coconut milk. The recipe uses full-fat or light coconut milk. Don't use a coconut drink as it will be too watery and the curry will be runny.
Fresh or Canned Pumpkin Puree?
I am using fresh home-made pumpkin puree instead of canned puree for two reasons. First, I live in Germany and unfortunately the food industry hasn't realized yet that canned pumpkin puree is a great invention. And second, I think homemade pumpkin puree fits this recipe much better!
Making your own pumpkin puree may require a bit more effort. But you can make it with the consistency you like! I personally like to have a few chunks of pumpkin in my curry so I only mash it a little. Of course, you can also use canned pumpkin puree but then you won't have any pumpkin pieces in your curry (which of course is a question of preference).
How to Customize This Pumpkin Coconut Curry
You can use this recipe as a basis and customize it to your liking. If you're not a huge fan of coconut (and this curry is very coconutty), you can sub half of the coconut milk with tomate puree.
Instead of cauliflower, you can add chickpeas or cooked potatoes or maybe even some peas. I also think a few cashews would go well with it.
Pumpkin Coconut Curry
- 1 small hokkaido pumpkin (~ 600g)
- 400g (frozen) cauliflower
- 1 onion
- 20g ginger
- 1 clove of garlic
- 5 cardamom pods
- 3 tsp cumin seeds
- 3 tsp garam masala
- ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp ground coriander
- ½ tsp ground ginger
- pinch ground cloves
- 300ml coconut milk
- Wash the pumpkin, half it and remove the seeds. Cut into chunks and cook in a large pot on medium heat for ~15 minutes. Once cooked, mash with a fork.
- In the meantime, peel and finely chop the onion. Mince the ginger and clove of garlic. Empty the cardamom pods.
- Heat a large pan over medium heat with a little bit of water and add the onion, ginger, garlic as well as the cardamom seeds and cumin seeds. Sauté for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently so it doesn't burn.
- Add the remaining spices (garam masala, turmeric, coriander, ground ginger, ground cloves) and cook for another couple of minutes. Add a splash of water if it becomes too dry.
- Add the coconut milk and mashed pumpkin and mix well to incorporate evenly. Let simmer for ~10 minutes to thicken.
- Meanwhile, defrost the frozen cauliflower in the microwave, cut into bite sized pieces and add to the curry.
- Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over rice or with vegan naan bread.
If you're not a huge fan of coconut, you can sub half of the coconut milk with pureed tomatoes.