Hello, I’m back! Eep, has it really been that long? This past month or so has been a blur but the highlights? Three gorgeous friends got hitched and naturally, I had to let my hair down. But as luck would have it, I also got constantly bogged down with sickness and general winter blah. Yes it’s tragic because I barely get sick so plenty of whinging went down. Now I’m suffering from wedding withdrawals…curry
I sure miss blogging though so it’s definitely time to (literally) dust off my camera and kitchen appliances! I admit my kitchen mojo has been a little off so you can imagine just how woeful my meals have been. Lately, I’ve been craving fire and spice and this Pumpkin Curry was perfect. I know I have plenty more to learn about spices (and Asian cuisine in general) but I really love knocking up curry pastes on a whim especially if I have some spare lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves stashed away. Any excuse to add a citrusy touch ;)
The beauty of this is you can throw in whatever you like in the curry; your favourite meat, veges or whatever you have sitting in the bottom of your fridge that isn’t sadly limp (for me, it was time to use up my dried chickpeas!). Maybe it was the cold + flu drugs talking but I was happy to go vegetarian and stick to pumpkin and beans (or maybe I was too lazy to go out and buy beef but lets move on). This is one of my fave types of weeknight meals; fast, fresh, simple and made from scratch. It’s the perfect kick-in-the-ass to get me back in the kitchen and away from the frozen meal aisles and drive-thu windows.
I didn’t think I added much chilli but da-yem, I pretty much blew my pants off. Which is probably a good thing since I had er, numerous blocked passages that Codral wasn’t doing anything about. And there’s nothing like a blast of chilli to blow the doors wide open am I right? Whether you are a sissy like me, a hot-lovin’ mama or downright sadistic, feel free to add as much chilli as you want, seeds or no seeds. I’ll let your own pain tolerance decide your fate :)
- 2 large golden shallots (or 3 French shallots), peeled and roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 10 dried chillis, soaked in hot water to soften then drained
- 2 large red chillis, deseeded and sliced
- 2.5cm (1 inch) nub of young ginger or galangal, peeled and sliced
- 1 lemongrass, lower bulb removed and sliced thinly
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- 1/2 Tbl of oil
- 200ml coconut milk
- 250ml vegetable/chicken stock or water
- 100g dried chickpeas, soaked in cold water overnight and cooked
- 500g sweet pumpkin, rind removed and chopped into 3 cm chunks
- 150-200g green beans, chopped into 5cm lengths
- 1 Tbl of (firmly packed) brown sugar or palm sugar (or to taste)
- 2 kaffir lime leaves
- Fish sauce
- You’ll need to begin this recipe the day before. Soak the dried chickpeas in plenty of cold water in the fridge for at least 24 hours. Then bring a pot of water to a boil and add the soaked chickpeas. Simmer for about 1.5 hours or until chickpeas are cooked through. Strain and set aside.
- To make the paste, grind all the paste ingredients together in a food processor or mortar pestle until it has been completely pulverised.
- In a wok or pot, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground paste and fry for a few minutes or until fragrant (be careful not to burn).
- Don’t panic, this was a double batch that I made.
- Add the coconut milk and stock/water. Bring to a boil then reduce to a low simmer. Add the pumpkin, cooked chickpeas and kaffir lime leaves and simmer gently for about 10 minutes before adding the green beans. Simmer for a further 30-35 minutes or until the vegetables are tender (time may vary depending on the thickness of your diced pumpkin).
- Season with brown/palm sugar for sweetness and fish sauce for saltiness. Feel free to add more stock or water if the curry is too thick for your liking (personally I prefer it a little liquidy for perfect rice drenching).
- Garnish with coriander and serve with steamed rice or white sticky rice.