We have a couple of pumpkins from the garden, and there's only so much pumpkin pie two people can eat (very little, in fact, if you're me). The last time we visited D's family in Portland, his mom got some pumpkin curry from a food truck downtown, which she raved about. D suggested we try our hand at making it, so tonight that's what we did.
I don't enjoy cutting up any kind of squash; they're just so hard. Our knives do a pretty good job, but it takes a bit of upper body strength too. So we put on some music and I hacked away at a sugar pie pumpkin for awhile: cut off the top and bottom, peeled the skin (with a knife - the vegetable peeler wasn't up to the job), halved it, scooped out the "goo," and diced it. Since I knew I'd have to do all that, I decided to make the chicken easy on myself and I bought a rotisserie chicken. Since I was already wearing the apron, I shredded and deboned that too.
Then I ate candy corn for awhile. The season for it is almost over, so it has to go and I really do try to do my part around here. :)
And now, the recipe. I confess I googled "pumpkin curry recipe" and found this one on the Williams Sonoma website. I tweaked it a bit so I wouldn't have to buy ingredients I had substitutes for, and you can do that too. Fortunately, we keep fish sauce on hand because Asian cooking just isn't the same without it.
First: peel, seed, and dice your small pumpkin (or butternut squash). Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the pumpkin, cooking until it's just starting to be tender. Drain it and set it aside.
Next: Combine half an onion (chopped coarsely), 3 cloves of garlic, 1 Tbsp. red curry paste, and 2 Tbsp. water in your blender. Blend until smooth.
Then: If you're cooking your own chicken, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large pan over medium heat and saute 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite-size pieces until light brown on all sides. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the chicken to a bowl. If you're going the pre-cooked route, skip that part. Heat 1 Tbsp. oil in the same pan and add the curry base. While it's warming up, mix together 1 can unsweetened coconut milk, 2 Tbsp. fish sauce, juice of 1 lime (~2 Tbsp.), and 2 tsp. firmly packed brown sugar. Stir it until the sugar is dissolved, and then add it to the hot curry base.
And now: Wait until the sauce on the stove has started to boil and then add your almost-cooked pumpkin & chicken. Halve some sugar peas and add them to the pan. Simmer until the pumpkin and chicken are fully cooked. Chop some fresh basil and sprinkle it on top when the curry is done cooking, and serve it over steamed rice.
This dish made more than enough to share. We wish you'd been here to eat it with us. Let us know when you're coming and we'll make sure to have something hot to eat together.