Pumpkin Curry (Kaeng Panaeng Fak Thong)

Thai pumpkin

Everyone always talks about getting their “greens, but have you been getting your “oranges and reds”?

Pumpkin or squash is a great way to do it and it is pumpkin season after all.

Thai pumpkin is not like that pretty Halloween pumpkin that gets all the publicity. It is deep green and rugged on the outside and more like an acorn squash on the inside.

Trying to peel it is like trying to peel a turtle, tough and full of a lot of ridges, but if you can make it past the skin the inside is worth the effort.

Here is my vegan interpretation of a Thai pumpkin curry.

1 1/2 cups pumpkin, peeled and cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 cup coconut cream
1 cup of coconut milk
2 tablespoons of red curry paste (Vegan friendly curry paste is available in most Asian grocery stores)
2-3 tablespoons of water
1 1/2 tablespoons light soy sauce
2 1/2 teaspoons of sugar ( feel free to omit as much of this as you want, but there is always an element of sweet to a Thai dish)
1/2 cup green beans, cut into 2 inch long pieces
1/2 cup red pepper, cut into bite sized pieces
1/2 pound firm tofu, drained and cut into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup red chillies thinly sliced
1/2 cup Thai Basil leaves
3 Kaffir lime leaves ( outside of Asia, you may only find this dried and that is a shame, use a splash of lime juice instead)
Lightly fry the tofu and set aside.

Pour the coconut milk into a pot, and begin to heat over medium heat. Add the curry paste and mix it well. If your mixture starts to splatter too much, turn down the heat. Stir to prevent the bottom from sticking and burning. When the reddish oil starts to form, stir to let the oil bring out the flavor and aroma in the spices. Add the sliced chillies, kaffir lime leaves and a couple of bruised stalks of lemon grass if you desire

Add the pumpkin and stir to coat with curry sauce. Add the green beans, red pepper and coconut cream. Mix water, soy sauce and sugar together than add to curry. Add the fried tofu. Simmer until the pumpkin is soft, about 15 minutes. Remove the lime leaves and the lemon grass just before serving. Add the basil last.

Save a few chilies, lime leaves and basil leaves for a garnish. The basil leaves can be left whole, slice the chilies into thin strips. Use scissors to cut the lime leaves up into thin strips.

Serve topped over rice.

Simple easy Thai home cooking at its best.

ทาน อาหาร ให้ อร่อย นะ (enjoy your meal)
Max

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