I have been cooking a lot of dishes using pumpkin and squash recently. I also salvaged a lot of leftover Halloween pumpkins from my friends for my experiments in the kitchen and to do my bit to avoid food waste.
In my journey of healthy eating and cooking, I always try to look for sugar-free ready-made spices especially when I am too busy to make my own. However, nothing beats a home-made spice paste with good natural ingredients.
Here is one of my recent creations that I believe you would like, especially if you wish to have a meatless or vegetarian evening. It is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans.
You can adjust the level of the spices to the heat that you can handle. I am for sure, a true lover of Thai street spiciness. How about you?
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Serving size: 4
For the Thai green curry paste:
- A bunch of green or red bird’s eye chillies (adjust according to the heat and spiciness that you can handle. 5 to 6 chilies could be for a starter)
- 4 shallots, roughly chopped
- 2 garlics, smashed with skins off
- 2 tbsp lemongrass, chopped
- 1 to 2 tbsp fresh ginger or galangal, peeled and grated
- 2 tsp kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp ground coriander
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground white pepper (if no white pepper, you can substitute with black pepper but it will reduce the heat of the curry)
- 2 tsp of sugar-free soy sauce, tamari sauce, coconut amino or fish sauce
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil
- Put all the ingredients in a blender and blend for a few minutes to form a smooth paste. If no blender, you can try the traditional way of using a pester and mortar to grind the ingredients into a smooth paste.
- Set it aside and be ready to use for the curry later. Any leftover can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for up to one week or you can freeze it for longer and use as needed.
For the pumpkin curry:
- 6 tbsp of homemade thai green curry paste (the one you just made. If you wish to make it spicier or with more kick, you can add more.)
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- ½ of a big pumpkin, 1 large butternut squash, or 2 smaller squashes (any kind will do, peeled, and cut into small chunks, around 1 kg of diced weight)
- 1 cup or 400 ml of canned coconut milk (fresh will be the best)
- 2 small limes
- 2 tbsp of coconut oil or olive oil, for frying
- A big handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
- Heat the cooking oil in a large pan or wok.
- Add the shallots and fry on a low heat for a few minutes, stirring to avoid it getting burnt, cook until they look translucent, and a fragrant smell comes out.
- Add the curry paste and stir for one minute.
- Add the pumpkin or squash. Mix well.
- Pour the coconut milk into the pan and add with half a tin/cup of water. Stir well.
- Simmer for around 15 minutes. Stir occasionally and cook until the pumpkin is soft.
- Season with salt if you need and squeeze in lime juice to taste.
- Put the coriander leaves in. Save some for garnishing later.
- Top the curry with some fresh red or green chilies before serving to improve the presentation (this will not add to the spiciness or heat of the curry, it’s purely for presentation purposes)
- Once done, serve with jasmine rice or cauliflower rice (good for people on low-carb diets or need to watch out for blood sugar levels). Garnish with some coriander leaves.
Comment below if you do give this a try and love it!