While I am sorry to see the lazy days of summer retreating I am now ready to embrace the cooler days and longer nights of Autumn. Salads and tapas on the boat and picnics on the beach have already given way to steaming soups and satisfying stews. Today I am sharing my simple recipe for roasted pumpkin curry to mark the 21st Annual National Curry Week here in the UK, it is vegan comfort food at it’s very best!
Earthy lentils, leeks and roasted squash are paired with creamy coconut, spiced up with cinnamon, ginger and chilli. Serve it with plain rice and steamed black kale for a bowl full of seasonal warmth and happiness!
Pumpkins and squashes are just the best seasonal ingredient as the nights draw in, not only do they taste amazing but the colour of them and the size of them just shouts ‘PLENTIFUL HARVEST’!
I’m a squash collector, I can’t resist them, they are SO beautiful piled up and full of promise! I have a bowl full of them on my kitchen table and I give them a little smile every time I see them.
Secrets To A Really Good Pumpkin Curry
Roasting the pumpkin before adding it to the curry brings out its flavour beautifully. All that sweet autumn promise is concentrated in one little bite! Peel, de-seed and chop your squash into chunks, toss it in oil, with cumin seeds and a pinch of salt and roast it in a hot oven for 30 – 40 mins.
The secret to any curry is letting the flavours develop and meld together so, while you can put this pumpkin dal together in a flash, take your time. You can, of course, scoff it immediately and it will taste divine but it will really benefit from being allowed to sit for a while after you’ve cooked it. Make it the night before and reheat it, or sizzle it at lunchtime and eat it for dinner. Make more than you need and enjoy it again the next day for lunch at work with a flatbread.
Don’t be put off by the list of spices in this recipe, they are all easy to get hold of and are the essential starter spices for curry making. Once you have them you can just add one or two more as each new curry recipe requires. Once you’ve started making curries, it is very hard to stop!
Some Alternatives To Save You Time
This vegan curry is fast and easy to make as it is but here are some simple tricks to make it even easier!
- Skip roasting the pumpkin if you are in a curry hurry and cook the pumpkin chunks in with the lentils
- Use your favourite shop bought curry powder instead of individual spices but do make sure it contains cinnamon if you want the full autumnal flavour! If it doesn’t, add some!
How to Serve Pumpkin Curry
I served my curry up with plain basmati rice and steamed kale, you could also try:
- Spooning it over crispy baked potatoes
- Serving it with vegan naan breads and chutneys
- Serving it as a smaller dish alongside other curries, rice and vegetables.
- Baking some cumin topped homemade breadsticks to serve alongside.
- Pumpkin curry is delicious topped with toasted pumpkin seeds. Heat a little oil in a pan, add a handful of seeds and fry until they start to change colour. You could fry some mustard seeds too, remove the pan from the heat when they start to pop and pour them and the oil over your curry as you serve it.
More Ideas For Roasted Pumpkin
- I always roast more pumpkin than a recipe calls for. It’s great in sandwiches, with hummus and hot sauce, in salads or as a quick snack straight from the fridge.
- Use it as a delicious vegan pizza topping
- Try it in my delicious recipe for Baked Pumpkin Risotto
- Make Butternut Squash Soup
- Add it to Butter Bean Stew for a bowl full of Autumn
- Make Pecan and Pumpkin Brownies, it would be rude not to!
Craving Easy Vegan Comfort Food? Try My:
- 500 g pumpkin peeled, seeds and strings removed, chopped into chunks
- 150 g leek washed and sliced
- 100 g red lentils
- 2 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 tsp cumin seeds
- pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 2 fat cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 dried red chilli
- 1 tsp black mustard seeds
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 50` g coconut cream I use a block of coconut cream, slice off what I need and add it to the curry to dissolve. Use canned coconut milk if you'd rather, you'll need about 100ml/ half a cup
- a handful of fresh flat leaf parsley or coriander leaves chopped
- Preheat the oven to 200C/390F
- Toss the chopped pumpkin in one tablespoon of the oil, the cumin seeds and a pinch of salt, place in a single layer in a roasting tin.
- Roast the pumpkin for 30 - 40 minutes, turning once, until soft and browned.
- Heat the remaining oil in a large, deep frying pan and fry the chopped leeks gently for about 5 minutes until soft.
- Add the garlic, ginger, chilli and spices and cook gently for a further minute.
- Add the stock and lentils, bring to the boil then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 - 20 minutes until the lentils are soft. You may need to add extra water to prevent the lentils from drying out.
- Add the coconut cream and the roasted pumpkin, stir through until the coconut cream has dissolved and the pumpkin is covered in sauce and lentils.
- Serve with rice and steamed greens.