Treat yourself to a bowl of this amazing Pumpkin Curry! This delicious recipe is bursting with bold flavors and so easy to make. The mouthwatering red curry sauce will have you licking your lips and going back for seconds!
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Fall is finally here, and that means it's pumpkin time! I tend to think of pumpkin in terms of sweet treats (like cookies, cake pops, and frozen yogurt), but it's equally delicious in main dishes like curries and soups.
If you're looking for savory ways to enjoy this seasonal favorite too, then you have to try this luscious Pumpkin Curry! I've been a huge fan of this rich, flavorful dish ever since I first tried it, so it was only a matter of time before I created my own version.
This easy Red Coconut Curry is my take on this favorite dish, and you are going to love it! It's full of amazing flavors and textures, from the sweet, tender pumpkin to the rich, creamy sauce. Best of all, it's so easy to make.
Ready to try this delicious recipe for yourself? Keep reading for all the details!
Have you ever made a Coconut Curry before? It's actually much simpler than you'd think! You can find most of the ingredients for this Thai inspired recipe at your local grocery store:
- Pumpkin - You'll need a sugar / pie pumpkin (the edible kind, not the jack o' lantern kind) for this recipe. Winter squash (like butternut) is usually easier to find than pumpkin most times of year, so feel free to use it instead of pumpkin. If you can find it, kabocha squash is what is traditionally used to make this dish.
- Pepper - This recipe also calls for a bell pepper. I used a red bell pepper, but a yellow or orange pepper can be substituted.
- Tofu - Extra firm tofu adds substance and protein to the curry. Make sure to press it to remove excess water before frying it.
- Coconut Curry Sauce - This homemade curry starts with a base of fresh ginger and garlic, which you'll combine with vegetable broth, red curry paste (which is made with a blend of spices, such as ginger, garlic, chiles, and lemongrass), coconut milk (use a full fat variety for best results), lime leaves (which come from the Makrut Lime and are sold dried or fresh; skip them if you can't find them), and vegan fish sauce (make you own with my included recipe or purchase a bottle) to form the creamy, flavorful sauce.
- Basil - You'll finish the recipe by stirring in fresh Thai basil leaves, which you can locate at Asian grocery stores. Regular Italian basil works too, if you can't find it.
This recipe is naturally vegetarian, vegan, dairy free, and gluten free ... which means everyone at your table can enjoy it!
You'll Also Need
You'll need a big frying pan (12-inches or larger is best) to cook the curry. I used my favorite Calphalon skillet, which worked perfectly!
How to Make Pumpkin Curry
Ready to get started? This Pumpkin Red Curry is simple and quick to make! You'll find a detailed recipe card below, but here's an overview of the steps:
- Press and fry tofu. Start by pressing the tofu and cutting it into cubes. Then fry it on one side until golden brown, then flip and cook on the other side. Remove if from the pan and sprinkle with a little salt.
- Sauté garlic, ginger, and curry paste. Return the pan to the burner, then add a little oil, along with the garlic and ginger. Cook for about 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add the red curry paste, then cook for a couple minutes, stirring constantly. Sautéing the paste helps wake up the flavors.
- Mix in broth. Stir in the vegetable broth, then cook the mixture for about five minutes or until it's slightly thickened.
- Stir in coconut milk + other sauce ingredients. Next, you'll add the coconut milk, vegan fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime leaves. Mix everything together really well (don't worry if it separates a bit) and bring your red coconut curry sauce to a simmer.
- Add pumpkin, tofu, and pepper. Stir the tofu and veggies into the sauce, then simmer everything until the veggies are tender. It should take about 20 minutes or so. As the curry simmers, stir frequently, and try to keep the veggies mostly submerged in the sauce. This will ensure the pumpkin cooks evenly. If the sauce gets too thick before the pumpkin is done, add a splash of broth to thin things out a bit.
- Season to taste + add basil. Taste the sauce, then season it to taste with more vegan fish sauce, if needed. Fish out those lime leaves, if you can find them, then stir in the basil.
Okay, are you hungry yet? Just looking at these pictures of this Thai Pumpkin Coconut Curry has me licking my lips!
Tip for Peeling Pumpkin / Squash: Use a sharp knife to cut the pumpkin or squash into halves or quarters, then remove the seeds with a spoon. Carefully slice off the skin, avoiding as much of the flesh as possible. Watch your fingers and be sure to work on a flat, stable surface.
I like to serve this yummy Pumpkin Curry recipe over steamed rice, which is the perfect compliment to the bold curry flavors and great for soaking up all the sauce. Fragrant jasmine rice is especially tasty!
If you'd like to round out the meal a bit more, serve it with an easy Garden Salad, sautéed veggies, or fresh fruit.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container in your refrigerator. It will stay fresh for up to four days. To reheat, gently rewarm in your microwave.
Looking for more savory pumpkin ideas? You'll love these recipes, too!
- Pumpkin Lentil Curry
- Pumpkin Pizza
- Pumpkin Risotto
- Pumpkin Couscous Salad
- Roasted Pumpkin Soup
- Vegan Pumpkin Chili
- Roasted Pumpkin Salad
Whatever recipe you try, make sure to save the seeds to make these scrumptious Roasted Pumpkin Seeds!
If it's curry you're craving, don't miss my Curry Corn Chowder, Chickpea Lentil Curry, Chickpea Spinach Coconut Curry, Chickpea Potato Curry, Curried Veggie, Chickpea, and Quinoa Stir Fry, Roasted Carrot Soup, or this easy Slow Cooker Vegetable Curry!
- 4 teaspoons cooking oil, divided
- 1 (14-ounce) package extra firm tofu, pressed and cubed (see note)
- kosher salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 2 generous tablespoons red curry paste
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- 1 (13.5-ounce) can coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon vegan fish sauce (see note)
- 1 teaspoon packed brown sugar
- 3 lime leaves (dried or fresh)
- 3 cups cubed pumpkin (or winter squash)
- 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and cubed
- small handful thai basil leaves, thinly sliced
- Heat 2 teaspoons oil to a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add tofu and toss to coat with oil. Cook tofu until lightly browned on one side, then flip and cooked until browned on other side.
- Remove tofu from pan, then sprinkle with salt to taste. Set aside.
- Return pan to burner and reduce heat to medium. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Stir in garlic and ginger, then cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Add red curry paste to pan; cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes.
- Stir broth into paste. Cook for 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Mix in coconut milk, vegan fish sauce, brown sugar, and lime leaves. Bring to a simmer.
- Stir pumpkin, red pepper, and tofu into coconut sauce. Simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes or until pumpkin is tender, stirring frequently.
- Taste and add additional vegan fish sauce to taste, if desired. Remove lime leaves. Mix in basil.
- Serve curry hot over rice. Enjoy!
What is your favorite fall meal?