The weather outside is frightful but pumpkin coconut curry is so delightful. If you've no reason to roll, grab a bowl, grab a bowl, grab a bowl.
Wow, OK, got the bad puns out of my system for now. To fight the chill we are experiencing in our own private ice-land in West Seattle, I made a warm, spicy, and fragrant pumpkin curry.Our favorite Thai place, Buddha Ruksa, has a delicious prawn and pumpkin curry. I've been meaning to replicate it at home. While surfing the web I stumbled onto Martha Stewart's Curried Coconut-Pumpkin Stew. Taking inspiration from each dish, I created my own pumpkin curry, creamy with coconut milk, spicy with ginger and jalapeno, and fragrant with freshly ground and whole spices.Here is what you need:
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
* 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
* 1 cardamon pod, smashed
* 1 teaspoon turmeric
* 1 onion, finely diced
* 4 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, finely chopped
* 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
* 1 rounded teaspoon curry powder
* 1 rounded teaspoon coriander powder
* 2 1/2- 3 cups peeled, cubed pumpkin
* 1 14 oz. can coconut milk (you can use light coconut milk)
* 1 cup milk, any kind, or even water
* 1 pound extra-firm tofu, cut into 1-inch cubes
* 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
* Salt and pepper to taste
* 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves
(This bowl is sad. It's empty.)Here is what you do:
Use a big, heavy pot and heat the oil over medium-high heat. Just when the oil begins to shimmer, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and cardamon pod. When the seeds start to sputter, add onion, garlic, jalapeno, and ginger and saute until fragrant, stirring a few times, about 2 minutes.
Add coriander and curry powder and pumpkin and stir. Cook for a couple minutes. Stir in the milks and bring to a boil. As soon as it boils, lower the heat to simmer and cover the pot. Continue to cook for about 15 minutes. Check to see if more liquid is needed. If so, you can use more of either milk or even water.
Then add the tofu and simmer about 10 minutes, uncovered, until pumpkin is tender.
Add the lime juice, taste and season for salt . You can add cilantro to the whole pot or just garnish individual bowls. Kick up the spice with your favorite hot sauce. Temper the existing spice with a side of cool plain yogurt.
You could serve this with any rice or grain or just enjoy a bowlful of curry. It was warm, spicy, and filling.