Pumpkin Curry

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

That is my daughter Sofia in the photo, she loves seeing herself in print.

This is my Aunt Agnes’ popular curry; it’s almost legendary within the close-knit family in Australia. The last time I was in Sydney I was lucky enough to watch her cook it. She is an inspirational cook and she chops and stirs with amazing speed. In next to no-time we were happily eating her curry with roti, an Indian flatbread. The secret she whispers is the coconut, fresh is best otherwise unsweetened desiccated coconut will do the job.

Considering my heritage, my father is Indian, there will be a few posts dedicated to food from the subcontinent. Nothing beats a home cooked curry, I have been disappointed on too many occasions when eating out that I prefer to cook this at home. Growing up in Sydney, curry nights were always on a Friday; this was when the relatives met up at each other’s house to share a bowl of kava, a concoction that is not entirely pleasant heralding from Fiji. They would drink for hours, relaxing after the weeks work before enjoying their curry either with rice or roti.

I have fond memories of my childhood growing up in Fiji; I still remember getting excited about the ubiquitous parcels of roti filled with a myriad of vegetarian fillings. It consisted of a roti wrapped around vegetables. My favourite is the okra fried with onions and spices. This “meal” was what the Indians ate for lunch. So simple and incredibly tasty!

Here is Aunt Agnes Pumpkin Curry recipe. I hope that I am doing your dish justice Aunt Aggie. Enjoy.

Pumpkin Curry

500g chopped pumpkin
1 medium onion chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic
1cm piece of ginger
1 tbsp lemon or tamarind juice
1 heaped tsp cumin
1 heaped tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp garam marsala
10 curry leaves
½ cup shredded coconut (fresh or unsweetened dessicated coconut)
1 medium tomato, chopped
Pinch of chilli powder
Virgin sesame oil (mine is almost odourless or use your favourite oil)

Put the peeled garlic and ginger with a pinch of salt in a mortar and pestle. Pound until well mixed.

On a medium heat, add enough sesame oil to coat the bottom of a large saucepan then add the curry leaves. Fry for 1-2 minutes before adding the seeds and cook for a few minutes until you hear the mustard seeds popping. Then add the onion and ginger-garlic mixture, marsala and chilli powder. Fry until fragrant then add the chopped tomatoes.

Once the tomatoes have softened add the pumpkin, stir occasionally and lower heat. Then add the coconut and stir to coat. Cook until the pumpkin is almost tender then add lemon or tamarind juice. Continue cooking until the pumpkin is soft. Serve with steamed brown rice.

Serves 4


November 17, 2011

This sounds delicious and the pictures are amazing! I will have to try this one. Love the picture of Sofia :) Jelica

March 22, 2012

Dear Dawn, thank you for sharing with us your story and cooking secrets! Actually I cooked it 2 times till now, was always very yummy, I love pumpkin and heavenly indian herbs. Cant wait for new recipes :)

Gardenia Giblin
June 08, 2015

This is my husband's favourite. Have been making this one for a few years now and I always get an excited jump from him when it's on the dinner menu.