Thai Pumpkin Curry

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If you ever want to go out for dinner, just know that I am always down for Thai food and that’s probably what we’re going to eat if you don’t choose a place. I mean, how can you not love Thai food? It’s so fresh, it’s absolutely delicious, and I just can’t get enough of it. One of my favorite things to order at my local Thai restaurant is pumpkin curry. It’s basically a red curry that is flavored to perfection and has beautiful little chunks of pumpkin and other wonderful vegetables. I wanted to create a recipe that emulated that dish and that I could whip up whenever I got the cravings (so basically everyday). This recipe has achieved everything that I wanted and more. Dare I say it tastes even better than the Thai restaurant. Now, there are a few ingredients that were a little difficult to get, but I finally found them. Those ingredients in particular are the kaffir lime leaves and the Thai basil. After going to literally 4 grocery stores, I finally went to my local Asian market (shoutout to 99 Ranch Market) where they obviously had everything that I was looking for. Unfortunately, there really aren’t any good substitutes to the kaffir lime leaves or the Thai basil. Please do not use the normal basil that you typically see on your Pizza Margherita. The flavors are completely different and you will not be happy if you did that. Honestly, you can go without both ingredients, but they add so much flavor and take the whole dish to the next level that I think they are at least worth looking for. So, the next time you get the Thai food cravings, try this recipe out and enjoy the adventure your tastebuds are about to go on. 

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 jar (4 oz.) red Thai curry paste

  • 1 large onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 3 tablespoons ginger, minced finely

  • 1 small pumpkin (about 2–3 pounds), peeled and cubed

  • 2 bell peppers, sliced (Preferably one red and one green)

  • 2 small green zucchini, chopped

  • 1 can (14 oz.) light coconut milk

  • 1 can (14.5 oz.) vegetable or chicken broth

  • 4 kaffir lime leaves

  • 2 tablespoons honey

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1 teaspoon turmeric

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1/2 cup chopped peanuts

  • Chopped Thai basil leaves, to taste

  • Chopped cilantro, to taste

METHODS

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, warm olive oil until hot. Add curry paste, onion, garlic, ginger, and a liberal sprinkle of salt. Stir constantly to ensure no burning and cook until onion just starts to soften, about 5 minutes. 
  2. Add pumpkin, bell peppers, zucchini, and another sprinkle of salt and continue cooking until bell peppers just begin to soften, about 4 minutes. 
  3. Add coconut milk, broth, kaffir lime leaves, honey, soy sauce, and turmeric. Stir together and bring to a boil. 
  4. Once boiling, cover, turn heat down to low, and allow to simmer until all of the vegetables are cooked through, about 15 minutes. 
  5. Add lime juice and chopped peanuts and allow to simmer for another 2-3 minutes. 
  6. Turn heat off, add Thai basil leaves and cilantro and serve immediately on top of rice or another grain. 
  7. Enjoy!