How to make Pumpkin Curry

How to make Pumpkin Curry

What is pumpkin curry?

Pumpkin curry best described as a stewed green pumpkin in a spicy fragrant broth. Resulting curry is thick soupy texture, which is so creamy and flavorful, it can be consumed on its own or with a side such as bread or rice. Another way to describe pumpkin curry is my favorite accompaniment to red raw rice and something very close to my heart. Pumpkins cooking in fragrant coconut cream broth with nutmeg, cinnamon  is so invigorating thought in any autumn rainy day.

Why Pumpkin Curry?

Pumpkins are one of our fall favorites.  We all love to go pumpkin picking and carve up a jack-o-lantern from a pumpkin as Halloween approaches. Other than that, there are many dishes that can be prepared with this ripening abundant fruit this time of the year. May it be the mains like pasta sauce, soup, roasted or mashed pumpkins or desserts and breakfast goodies like pumpkin bread and cookies or waffles, possibilities are endless. There are so many wonderful recipes already published for baking with pumpkins.

Armed with all the recipes we too went pumpkin picking last weekend. I know little late to the party, but better late than never. There and then I saw it! The green pumpkin. I felt I need to write my Sri Lankan home recipe of making pumpkin curry from scratch. It was long overdue in the perfect curry collection.

What pumpkins are best for currying?

Pumpkins come in variety of flavors and colors. Some are orange or golden, white while others reddish, and green. Most of the pumpkins are on the sweeter side. However, cheese pumpkins or green and Japanese varieties are nuttier and less sweet. It goes without saying that less sweet pumpkin varieties are best suited for curries. If you would like to read more about picking a not very sweet varieties following two sites provide a great resource. Ideal pumpkin for the curry we are making today would be a 3 to 4 lb. smaller green pumpkin with creamy white or orange flesh with a mild sweetness to it.

Also you could visit spruce eats link for a great classification of pumpkin types you can find.

Let’s make the pumpkin curry

Having picked a green pumpkin of about 3 to 4 pounds, I was home exited to make the curry. However, there was a one tough problem I had to deal with first. How do I get the whole pumpkin open? As you all know pumpkin skin is very tough and not easily to cut through. One way to get the skin soft enough to cut is to microwave the whole pumpkin for about a minute. If somehow it does not work or like in my case pumpkin was too big to go inside microwave, you could use a heavy kitchen knife to slowly and carefully get the skin punctured on one side and start cutting. Use a kitchen towel or a bamboo chopping board to prevent slipping. Start near the stem on one side and punch the knife through until you hit the seeds and push the knife down to make a cut on the side all the way through. Pull the knife out and turn the pumpkin around to make a similar cut on the opposite side until pumpkin separates in to two pieces. Scoop the seeds out and cut in to 2-inch cubes. Remove the tough outer skin. You could leave the skin out if you get an organic pumpkin with a skin without blemishes for added nutrient benefits.

How to cut a pumpkin

Pumpkin Curry Recipe

Serving Size: Half a cup of curry over rice or 2 cups as a soup  

Cook time: 25 Minutes


  • One green pumpkin
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • One-inch-long stick of cinnamon
  • Two green chilies
  • One teaspoon fresh ground mustard seed
  • One inch size piece of ginger
  • Teaspoon of freshly ground black paper
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • One medium red onion
  • Two pandan leaves
  • Two tablespoons desiccated coconut
  • One tablespoon raw white rice
  • One teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • One teaspoon of coriander powder
  • Two teaspoons of salt
  • Half a teaspoon of nutmeg
  • One teaspoon of fenugreek seeds
  • Two cardamom pods


image of cubed pumpkins
Cubed pumpkins in clay pot

Wash the pumpkin and cut it into 2-inch cubes. Remove the outer tough skin with a chef s knife.

Dry roast rice and desiccated coconut separately over medium low heat until just golden.

Grind mustard seeds with salt in a mortar and pestle.

Add ground mustard, roasted rice, desiccated coconut, turmeric, coriander powder in a grinder. Pulse few seconds to grind and add half a cup of water to make a smooth paste.

Slice the onion and green chili finely. Slice ginger and garlic finely.

Coat pumpkin pieces with the seasoning blend and add just enough water to cover pumpkins. Add onions, green chili, curry leaves, ginger, garlic, pandan leaves and fenugreek seeds. cook in a covered clay pot, in low heat until pumpkin pieces are done and soft for about twenty minutes. When pumpkins are soft had half a cup of coconut milk, cardamom pods, stick of cinnamon and nutmeg. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes on low.

Finish with a sprinkle of black curry seasoning powder on top.

Image of finished pumpkin curry garnished
Finished pumpkin curry

Serving suggestions with pumpkin curry

Pumpkin curry can replace red lentil curry or creamy jack fruit curry in any rice and curry meal. It is wholesome, filling, and full of packed nutrients.  This kid friendly recipe is good source of vital dietary fiber and vitamin A included with benefits of spices like, turmeric, curry leaves, cinnamon, and ginger.

I hope you will try out this curry recipe this fall and will like it as much as we do! Let me know from a comment below.

Read the Baby jackfruit curry here
ten rice and curry meal ideas

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