The arrival of Springtime is often fickle in my part of Canada. Even into the month of May, days of bright sunshine can suddenly be followed by a wintery day filled with sudden gusts of cold winds and snow flurries — and that is exactly what happened today. Instead of getting depressed about pulling my winter coat out of the closet and trading my flip flops for boots, I get into the kitchen and cook something comforting!
This spicy vegan Thai pumpkin curry, swimming with creamy coconut milk and flecked with chilies, basil and cilantro just the thing to warm you up on a chilly Spring day (or Fall or Winter) and takes just under an hour to make. I made this curry using whatever I could find in my fridge and freezer, including frozen pumpkin that I’d saved from the previous Fall. Feel free to have the courage to make something fresh with whatever you have in your kitchen and improvise with any winter squash and your favorite veggies.
Vegan Thai Coconut Pumpkin Curry
INGREDIENTS: 1 can (14 oz) coconut milk
2 to 4 TB Thai red curry paste (adjust to your own taste)
3 stalks lemongrass, cut into thirds and bruised with the back of a knife
4 cups pumpkin, cut into 1 1/2 inch cubes (or substitute with any winter squash such as acorn or butternut)
2 cups homemade or packaged vegetable stock
2 cups frozen peas
1 red bell pepper, diced finely
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup Thai basil, chopped into fine strips (you can substitute with Italian basil)
Optional Garnishes: diced green onions, chopped chilies, basil, cilantro or toasted coconut.
- In a large pot on medium heat, add the coconut milk and curry paste to infuse. Gently mash the chili paste with the back of a spoon as you stir to ensure it breaks up and is incorporated into the coconut milk completely. This should take about 5 minutes.
- Once the chili paste is fully combined with the coconut milk, add in the lemongrass stalks and let lightly simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin, vegetable stock and frozen peas to the chili-lemongrass mixture and let simmer on medium heat for about 20 to 25 minutes or until the pumpkin is softened. In the last 5 minutes of cooking add the chopped red pepper so that it still maintains a little bit of its crunch when you dig in to the finished dish.
- Garnish as desired with chopped green onions, diced chilies, fresh basil and cilantro and enjoy!
Preparation Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 30 – 40 minutes Serves 4 people