This vegan pumpkin curry with chickpeas and kale is delicious and creamy with a spiced coconut milk base. Filling and comforting, this pumpkin curry is easy to prepare and delicious all year round!
Are you, like me, a little intimidated by working with pumpkin? I mean, peeling and chopping a pumpkin isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Isn’t it better to just get it out of a can and turn it into a pie?
Well that’s another thing to add to the list of products that I can’t get in Spain: canned pumpkin. Actually, there is one fancy-schmancy American grocer who stocks it around Thanksgiving time, but I’d rather not pay an inflated price for something I could (theoretically) do myself.
So I got out my biggest knife, while debating whether the hammer would also be necessary, and hacked away at that slippery little bugger until getting enough cubes to be able to turn into this beautiful vegan pumpkin curry.
Trust me; dissecting the pumpkin was the hardest part of this vegan pumpkin curry. The rest of the dish comprises chickpeas, kale, cashews, the holy trinity of onion, garlic and ginger, and some pretty basic spices. Throw it all in a pan with some coconut milk and let it simmer away until the pumpkin is tender.
This vegan pumpkin curry recipe is a little different than other recipes you’ll find online. I was very specific about not wanting this dish to taste too much like pumpkin pie which is why I didn’t add any cinnamon or garam masala. Although pumpkin and cinnamon is a great combination, it’s not the only way to season a pumpkin!
I was going for southern Indian flavours with the coconut milk, mustard seed and (what should be) curry leaves. I searched Barcelona high and low and unfortunately came up empty handed with the fresh curry leaves. Not even the Indian market had fresh ones. So I threw in about 6 bay leaves as a poor substitute for fresh curry leaves. However it you’re lucky enough to have them, I’d recommend using about a 1/4 cup fresh curry leaves to flavour the curry base.
10 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
40 minTotal Time
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons mustard seeds
- 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
- 6 bay leaves or 1/4 cup fresh curry leaves
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons grated garlic
- 1 tablespoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 3 tomatoes, diced
- About 650 grams (1.4 pounds) of pumpkin or butternut squash, cubed
- 2 cups (80 grams) chopped kale
- 2 cups (475 ml) coconut milk
- 2 cups (330 grams) cooked chickpeas
- Salt, to taste
- A small handful of toasted cashews, roughly chopped
- A small bunch of cilantro
- Lime slices, to serve
- Rice, to serve
- In a large pan, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and bay or curry leaves and sauté, stirring, until the spices release their aroma and have darkened slightly. Add the onion, ginger and garlic and sauté until the onions are transparent. Now add the coriander, turmeric and chili powder continue frying for an additional 2 minutes to bring out the flavour.
- Add the tomato and simmer until they have broken down and formed a thick sauce then add the pumpkin, kale and coconut milk. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the pumpkin is tender, then add the chickpeas and simmer for a couple minutes more to warm through.
- Remove the bay leaves, season to taste with salt and serve with rice, lime slices and sprinkled with toasted cashews and cilantro.
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