Pumpkin is not a spice!
Pumpkin is not just for pie! Not that there is anything wrong with pumpkin pie, but don’t limit this awesome winter squash to just dessert. There’s a lot more to pumpkin than you probably realize, and it’s easy to add it into your meal planning as it’s versatile in both sweet and savory dishes. (Check out my Pumpkin Pasta!) It has outstanding nutritional benefits. It’s exceptionally high in vitamin A (one cup has 245% of the recommended daily amount) and antioxidants. It’s also relatively low in calories.
There is so much good stuff to say about this curry. It’s hard to know where to start. However, the most important thing is how delicious it is!!! Thanks to the great combination of spices, it has a subtle warmth and a positively amazing creaminess. It is so yummy; you will totally overlook that it is incredibly healthy. It is vegan and gluten-free, thanks to the coconut milk. Another big plus is how easy this is to make. It is a one-pan dish, so clean-up is easy/breezy. There’s nothing complicated or requiring any special skills.
At first glance, there appear to be a lot of ingredients. That’s because of the spices. It does require seven, but most of them are standard pantry stuff. The only exception may be turmeric. Turmeric is a bright yellow spice powder made from the root of a plant in the ginger family. It has been used in Asia for thousands of years as a dye, food coloring, and Indian traditional medicine. I love cooking with turmeric, and I use it quite a bit as I branch out my flavor palette. No worries if you don’t have it in your spice rack. The other spices offer enough flavor, and the pumpkin provides the color, so if necessary, you can omit it without jeopardizing the dish.
Quick & easy prep
The prep is basic; the veggies need chopping and garlic minced. No biggie. However, you can save a few minutes by using pre-minced garlic in the jar if you prefer. I prefer fresh garlic, but that’s a personal preference. There’s no disputing that it does save time, and it’s certainly convenient. Measuring out the spices in a measuring cup or ramekin will make the cooking process go a lot smoother. It’s worth the extra minute or two to do it before you start cooking.
Start by sautéing the onion in a large hot skillet, pan, or wok until tender. Then the garlic, carrots, and tomatoes can join the party. When the carrots begin to soften, it’s time for the pumpkin, chickpeas, and spices to bring their magic to the mix. Lastly, add the coconut milk and water. Reduce the heat and let it all simmer for about 20 minutes.
Bringing it together
Enjoy this curry over rice or grain. Brown rice or jasmine rice is fabulous! Quinoa is another good choice. You can also serve it over flatbread for something a little different. While lime is not required, I HIGHLY recommend serving the curry with a fresh lime wedge. The burst of acidity brightens up all the flavors and really makes the sauce pop!
Zhoosh it with Garnish
If you are into garnish, like I am (I’m a firm believer that we first taste with our eyes) – top the curry with a couple of fresh basil, cilantro, or parsley leaves. Pumpkin seeds (pepitas) add more visual appeal and offer crunch.
Pumpkin Coconut Curry is an easy and comforting dish for a weeknight meal, no matter how you serve it. It is also a very welcomed vegan option at holiday tables. Enjoy!
Easy Pumpkin Coconut CurryCourse: Main, SidesCuisine: Vegan, Indian-inspiredDifficulty: Easy
Easy Pumpkin Coconut Curry is a savory one-pan vegan dinner that will warm up a family weeknight dinner or holiday festivities.
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced (1 teaspoon)
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup tomatoes, chopped (fresh or canned)
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 13.5-ounce can coconut milk (light or full-fat)
1 cup water
Optional: Lime wedges for serving
Optional Garnish Options: Pumpkin seeds (pepitas), fresh basil or cilantro
Cooked rice or grain for serving (brown or jasmine rice is suggested)
- Prep: Chop onions and carrots. Mince garlic. Drain and rinse chickpeas.
- Heat oil over medium heat in a large pan, add the onion and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add the carrots and tomatoes; stir to combine. Partially cover the pot; cook for 10 minutes, until carrots become slightly tender.
- Add the pumpkin, chickpeas, curry powder, ginger, salt, pepper, turmeric, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper. Stir until fully combined Pour the coconut milk and water into the pot; mix well. Bring to a boil, then turn the heat down to let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the carrots are fully tender.
- Serve over brown rice, jasmine rice, or quinoa with a wedge of lime. If desired, garnish with pumpkin seeds, basil, cilantro, or parsley.
- Additional veggies may be added, such as cauliflower, broccoli, or potatoes. Spinach can also be added, during the last few minutes of cooking.
- Coconut milk: Half & half can be substituted for a non-vegan variation.
- Non-vegan options: Add leftover turkey or chicken for a delicious twist on leftovers