Thursday, October 13, 2011

Pumpkin Curry-Mild (Sri Lankan Style)

As much as Sri Lankans love their spicy food, we do need a mild curry to accompany the rice and curry meal. Lentils are usually the favorite, but I really love this pumpkin curry too.  What a perfect time of year to showcase this lovely curry.  I bought one small sugar pumpkin, but my mother recommends a green Asian pumpkin for this dish or acorn squash as a good substitute.  I think the sugar pumpkin worked pretty well, but I didn't find it "meaty" enough.  I'm sure you can use the curry recipe and try it with a variety of squash or gourds.

2-3 cups of pumpkin or acorn squash
1 small onion chopped
12-15 curry leaves
cinnamon stick
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2-3 Tbs of dessicated coconut
1 tsp mustard seeds
8-10 black pepper corns
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 cup of fresh milk (or canned coconut milk)
salt to taste
1/2 tsp of red chili powder (Indian)
1-2 green chilies sliced
1 1/2 cups of water
1-2 tsp of sugar

Wash your pumpkin well and discard the seeds.  Then cut it into large pieces.  When you cook the pumpkin the skin will become tender enough to eat.  You can eat around the skin if you prefer.

Put the cut up pumpkin in a pot with the water, cinnamon stick, green chilies, onion, curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, turmeric, sugar, salt, red chili powder and bring to a boil.  Cook for 12-15 minutes until the pumpkin becomes tender, but not mushy.  You should be able to pierce the pumpkin with a spoon, but it should not fall apart. 

You will need to grind the next few ingredients together.  In a good blender first grind the mustard seed and peppercorns until they get powdered.  Then add your garlic and 2Tbs of dessicated coconut and grind with 1/2 your milk.  Pour this into the curry.  Take the other 1/2 cup of milk and rinse out your blender.  Add the last Tbs of dessicated coconut to the curry to give it some extra texture.  Allow it to simmer for a few minutes until the gravy becomes thick.  Taste for salt and turn off the stove. 

Serve with rice as part of curry meal. Serves 4-6 people.  Enjoy.