This simple yet delicious Sri Lankan pumpkin curry made using the abundant fall vegetable and simmered with coconut milk and spices is a comfort in a bowl. It's vegetarian, gluten free and dairy free.
With all the drama going around this humble vegetable at this time of the year, I couldn't help but participate in a pumpkin feast.
I made a Gluten Free Pumpkin Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting and my family and friends happily gobbled it up. It's seriously good guys ! They couldn't tell it's gluten free. I used canned pumpkin. And some of my readers have made it into cupcakes too. Go check the recipe in the link above !
We went to a pumpkin festival earlier this month and bought quite a few pumpkins. I wanted to roast and also make some puree for baking. But I realized I haven't cooked a traditional Sri Lankan pumpkin curry.
Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry (Vegetarian)
This is a perfect curry for the season. Chunks of pumpkin simmered in coconut milk and spices and eaten warm with a bowl of rice is for me comfort at it's best.
We Lankans are generous with our coconut milk. Vegetables are normally cooked in coconut milk and mild spices. Any vegetable dish including this pumpkin curry is eaten alongside rice, meat or fish curry, extra vegetable curries and a green salad.
Yet, you can definitely dress this curry to be a main vegetarian dish alongside some cooked fragrant, buttered basmathi rice. Yes, I add a blob of butter or ghee to my cooked, warm rice. Try it next time you cook rice. You'll love it. Add in some roasted cashews, some pomegranate seeds and increase the heat level of the curry. Say hello to your new favorite curry with rice !
Skin on or peeled
I like to cook pumpkin with the skin on. That's the way I have seen my family cook, my grandmother to my aunts till the extended families. That's how Sri Lankans cook pumpkins. With the skin.
Some pumpkin varieties easily disintergrate to the curry and the whole dish becomes one big pot of pumpkin puree. However, you can peel the skin and cook the pumpkins for convenience. Just keep an eye on the curry.
Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry
- 1 pound(454g) pumpkin cubed
- 2 tablespoon oil
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 10 to 15 curry leaves
- 1 green chili sliced
- 1 stick cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ginger and garlic paste
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin powder
- ½ teaspoon curry powder
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- ½ cup water
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Heat a pan in medium, add oil.
- When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves, cinnamon stick and sliced onions. Cook till the onions are translucent.
- Add the ginger and garlic paste. Cook for a minute till the raw smell disappears.
- Add the cubed pumpkins followed by the chili, turmeric, cumin and curry powders. Stir to coat the pupkins in the spice mixture.
- Add salt, green chili and ½ cup of coconut milk and water. Let it come to a boil.
- Close the lid and turn the heat to medium low and let it simmer for about 15 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and cooked through.
- Add the remaining ¼ cup coconut milk. Cook for 5 minutes on low. Swtich the heat off and add the lemon juice. Serve warm.
- Heat level can be increased by adding an extra green chili, or ½ teaspoon chili powder. Or ½ teaspoon chili flakes.
- Can be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container for upto 2 days.
- Reheat before serving.
If you make this recipe, or any recipe from Love & other spices, please tag me on #loveandotherspices. I'd love to see your creations.
For even more great ideas and recipes, follow me on Instagram or Pinterest.
Prajakta Sukhatme says
I am drooling looking at the yummy photos. Glutenfree, vegan recipes are my favorite. I can't wait to make this comforting pumpkin curry !
Thank you Prajakta ! It's so comforting !
Kelly Anthony says
Pumpkin curry is something I've never had but sounds like it would be wonderful this time of year. Can't wait to try something new.
Yes Kelly, You should try it and hopefully like it 🙂
MMMM okay a warm delicious Fall recipe with pumpkin? Yes! Can't wait to make this pumpkin curry.
Hi Jenna, let me know how it turns out.
So much flavor! This will be warm and comforting this winter.
Oh yes, I love this curry during Fall and winter.
Ben Myhre says
I am totally digging this curry. We also have a few pumpkins still sitting on our counter, so maybe I will have to pick this recipe up!
Thanks Ben. Let me know how it turns out !
Thank you for this recipe! I made it today and it turned out to be one of the best things I've eaten. Loved the texture and the balance of sweet & spicy. And it was really easy to make.
I'm definitely going to cook this dish many times in the future ♥
Hi Farwin! I made this curry during quarantine in New Delhi – it was so good! My whole family loved it. I am new to cooking, and I found this recipe easy to follow. I kind of changed up the steps a little bit, based on how I've seen my mom and sister-in-law cook: I added a splash of water after putting in the onion, ginger, garlic, and all the spices to deglaze the pan, and then I added some more water when I put in the pumpkin chunks.
Thank you so much for this lovely introduction to Sri Lankan cuisine and I'm excited to cook more of your recipes!
Samantha Mudiappahpillai says
This was fantastic. Served it up with some
Cumin rice. The sweetness and spices of this dish would taste delish with a rich beef curry along side. Thank you for sharing!
So tasty. I made it without the cinnamon a d used extra mustard seeds. 👌🏽
I've been experimenting with curries -- from various countries -- since the quarantine began and this is easily one of the best recipes I've tried. Wonderful flavor combinations and highly adaptable; for example, I tried it with a combination of butternut squash and fresh green beans, and was very pleased with the results.
Loved the recipe. Taste was great