I miss my dad. He was supposed to be here right about now but his trip got delayed by a few months. With all the changes in his life and mine, we haven’t managed to get together since 2007! I was thinking about the last time we cooked together. And I think it was many many years ago when I lived in Cincinnati. We made a lamb moussaka together from my Mediterranean cookbook. It was my first time cooking with lamb and making moussaka. I forget how it turned out but I remember it was a fun experience!
So though we ( my husband and I) won’t be spending Thanksgiving with family, we’ll be spending it with some of our amazing friends here in Seattle. This post on Thanksgiving curry is for my dad, the friends who shared this meal with us (and who were nice enough to say this was one of the best curries they’ve had), and all the friends with whom we look forward to sharing a meal with soon!
Let’s talk about the curry. And yes, that’s Thanksgiving CURRY! And no, it’s not just curry that you happen to eat over Thanksgiving cause you don’t like Turkey or don’t eat meat. It’s an honest to goodness thanksgiving, fall themed curry. It’s Indianish Thanksgiving food. Or Thanksgivingish Indian food. Well, you get the idea. I’m sure this is not a new concept but is (or was) new to me. So what am I talking about?
Pumpkin curry. Specifically, steamed and mashed pumpkin ‘purée’ added to caramelized onions with garam masala and a few other spices. Oh yeah along with slightly roasted kuri squash and bosc pear. Pear! My new favorite ingredient to add to savory dishes.
This recipe serves 6.
- 1 (~2.5 lbs) sugar pie pumpkin, cut in half, de-seed, slice each half into 4 or 5 pieces, microwave on high for 3 minutes.
- 1/2 can coconut milk
- 1 small squash (I used 1/2 a kuri squash, a delicata would work well too), process same as pumpkin and then dice into 1 inch pieces
- 1 bosc pear, peeled and cubed into 1 inch pieces
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 2 inch piece of ginger, grated or cut into thin matchsticks
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
- 2 teaspoons garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder (optional)
- pinch nutmeg (preferably freshly grated)
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided or to taste
Peel the skin off the pumpkin (once microwaved, it will peel of easily) and roughly dice. Throw the pieces into a pot and add a cup of water. Heat on medium high till the water boils and then simmer the pot with lid ajar for 10 minutes or till the pumpkin has the consistency of mashed potato. Mix with the coconut milk. Proceed to the next steps while waiting for the pumpkin to cook.
UPDATE – An easier way to puree pumpkin…http://www.ehow.com/how_4498298_puree-sugar-pie-pumpkins.html
Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or work. The oil is hot enough if you throw in a cumin seed and it sizzles.
Add the cumin seeds and allow them to sizzle for just 5 seconds
Add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt, stir regularly for 3 minutes
Add the ginger and garlic. Continue to stir regularly for another 4-5 minutes or till onion is golden brown and caramelized
Add the turmeric, paprika, coriander powder, garam masala and cayenne. Mix well.
Add the pieces of squash. Stir to mix with onion and spices. Allow to cook for 3 minutes.
Add the pear. Stir and cook for another 3 minutes.
At this point you will need to add the pumpkin gravy. If your pan is not big enough, transfer the onion/spices/vegetables and the pumpkin gravy into a big enough pot.
Add a pinch of nutmeg
Simmer on low for 15 minutes
Taste for salt
Serve with rice or naan or as a soup.
To save time, you can use canned pumpkin puree.
I used bosc pears as these are best for baking. Other varieties might also work just fine.
Have leftover squash and coconut milk? I plan to make a coconut squash shake (can you say squash shake quickly without messing it up???) with a bit of milk and pinch of freshly ground cardamom.
So there, here’s your start to Thanksgiving Indian style. Coming soon (tonight?), is a post on green beans made in a simple South Indian style. Wow your guests with something different than the same old green bean casserole.
Interested in making this curry but don’t have all the spices? I’m happy to mail the thanksgiving curry spice blend to the first five commenters to this post. It’s my way of saying thanks for reading the blog. Send me an email to veena (at) veenasmarket (dot) com with your address after you leave your comment. And no, I won’t give your address away, sign you up for spam or anything. I hate that too!