Spicy Pumpkin and Peanut Curry

November 22nd, 2009  |  Published in All, Around the World, Cilantro / Coriander, Garlic, Ginger, Honorable Herbs, Nuanced Nuts, Squash, Succulent Spices, Veritable Vegetables, Weekend Projects  |  11 Comments

Spicy Pumpkin and Peanut Curry

I am back!  Back to cooking, back to blogging, back to the USA, back to San Francisco!

Steven and I returned from our 10 month German adventure at the beginning of November, and have been doing all the things people do when they return to a place they have missed dearly.  I’ve been visiting with family and friends, eating at my favorite restaurants, shopping at my favorite grocery store, jogging along the waterfront, and of course visiting the farmer’s market.

The first saturday we were back I convinced Steven to go to the Palo Alto farmer’s market with me by offering to stop along the way for oh-so-tasty and impossible-to-find-in-Germany breakfast sandwiches.  Eggs.  Bacon.  Cheese.  Bagel.  One would think this delicious combination would be America’s #1 export!

At the market, colorful, plump winter squash were stacked high on vendors’ tables along with whole stalks of brussels sprouts, baseball-sized pomegranates, and all sorts of pears and apples.  What a bounty!  Always a squash lover, I decided to pick up a sugar pie pumpkin.  It’s one of my favorites since it has a wonderful flavor that’s not too sweet, has a good texture, and is fairly easy to peel and carve.  I also picked up some fresh hot red chiles, cilantro, and torpedo onions since I had this curry in mind.  I love coconut milk based curries, and this somewhat unusual one with pumpkin is no exception.  It’s rich and flavorful, a little sweet, a little spicy, but not too heavy since it is brimming with vegetables.  Served atop brown rice, it’s substantial enough for a meal in itself, though it would also be lovely in a spread with other curries, raitas, noodles, etc.  Squash is in peak season right now too, so it’s a great time to try this.

On a totally different note, thanks for sticking with me while I dropped off the face of the planet during our move! :)  and Happy Thanksgiving!

Spicy Pumpkin and Peanut Curry

1 c. water
1/3 c. chunky peanut butter
zest and juice from 1 lime
1 T. soy sauce
1 T. tomato paste

Olive oil
4 medium red torpedo onions, cut into 1-2 inch chunks (or substitute 2 medium red onions)
1 medium sugar pie pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, and cut into 2-3 inch chunks

2 large handfuls cilantro, chopped, divided
2 fresh red chiles, finely diced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
1 inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced

1 400ml can coconut milk
1/4 cup roasted peanuts, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Mix together the water, peanut butter, lime zest and juice, soy sauce, and tomato paste in a bowl and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (14 inch) or a chef’s pan over medium high heat, then add the onions and saute until softened and the edges are beginning to brown, 4-5 minutes.  Add the pumpkin and stir fry for about 4-5 minutes.  Add half the cilantro, chiles, garlic, and garlic, and stir fry for about 2 minutes.  Add the coconut milk and peanut mixture and stir until well mixed.  Loosely cover with tinfoil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer until the pumpkin is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 15-20 minutes.  Add more water if the sauce becomes too thick, or boil vigorously if the sauce is too thin towards the end.

Serve with rice and garnish with the other half of the cilantro and the chopped peanuts.  Enjoy!
(Note:  This curry goes particularly well with Half Moon Bay Brewing Company’s Pumpkin Harvest Ale!)

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  1. Mama JJ says:

    November 22nd, 2009at 1:59 pm(#)

    Welcome back!

    This curry looks delicious. I just made a red lentil coconut curry, but I think this one looks even better. I have lots of squash on hand, too. Just need to get me some cilantro, and then I’m in business.

  2. Jen says:

    November 22nd, 2009at 2:40 pm(#)

    Mama JJ — Thanks! The red lentil coconut curry sounds intriguing — sort of a thai-indian melange… I saw you mentioned it on your blog (and its tribulations), but are you going to post the recipe? I hope so!

  3. Kelly Alesso says:

    November 22nd, 2009at 5:35 pm(#)

    This sounds amazing. It sounds a lot like a dish I get a Tibetan restaurant. There’s is made with cashews so I may have to try this with cashew butter and roasted cashews. Thanks for the recipe Jen.

  4. Erin says:

    November 22nd, 2009at 5:46 pm(#)

    Yay, you’re back!! I loved catching up on everything when we moved back to Seattle after our 4 years in NY. I think the first thing I did was go on a shopping spree at Uwajimaya. I had nothing to cook with, but I had fiddlehead ferns! Welcome home.

    Great looking curry, I think I’ll be trying this very soon.

  5. Jen says:

    November 22nd, 2009at 6:09 pm(#)

    Kelly – ooh, a cashew version sounds great! sometimes at my grocery coop I can find interesting flavored cashews like curry cashews (which are bright yellow), tamari cashews, chili cashews, etc. Those might add a nice little extra kick

    Erin – oh man, I love Uwajimaya… you totally brought back memories of going there with my mom when I was a little kid :) do you know of anywhere in SF that is similar? I have never been to Ranch 99, but that might be similar. Also, you are up in Petaluma, correct? it would be fun to get together sometime!

  6. Delicata Squash and Parsnip Baked Pasta says:

    November 23rd, 2009at 9:06 am(#)

    [...] Savory Pumpkin Bread Pudding was a hit at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival, Jen’s Spicy Pumpkin and Peanut Curry reminds me of my favorite Tibetan dish, and Hannah’s Delicata Panna Cottas demonstrate that [...]

  7. Karine says:

    November 24th, 2009at 5:17 pm(#)

    Your curry sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing :)

  8. Erin says:

    November 25th, 2009at 11:14 am(#)

    I haven’t been, it sounds familiar, but I can’t remember where I’ve seen it. I am going through Asian market withdrawals here with only the small supermarket selection to turn to. I need to track something down.

    Yes, we are up in Petaluma, if you are in the area anytime soon we should totally get together! If not, we are going to take a long weekend in the city in either January or February, and I would love to meet up then. By the way, I know nothing about San Francisco. Can you recommend a cool neighborhood and/or hotel to stay in?

  9. Jen says:

    November 25th, 2009at 12:00 pm(#)

    Karine – thanks!

    Erin – Ranch 99 is a big asian market in Daly City, which is a suburb just south of SF. Did you try posting on Chowhound about north bay asian grocery stores? that community seems to know everything.

    When you come to SF, stay anywhere except Fisherman’s Wharf. Downtown/Union Square and the area near the Ferry Building has some nice places to stay (The W, Intercontinental, Four Seasons, etc) and is pretty well located for public transportation. North Beach and Chinatown are also pretty cool, and the Chinatown Hilton is quite nice. I can definitely recommend some restaurants for you too if you are interested

  10. Nicole says:

    March 23rd, 2010at 11:41 am(#)

    Wow, this looks so good. I’m pretty sure I found dinner for tonight!

  11. Jen says:

    March 23rd, 2010at 12:43 pm(#)

    Nicole – Thanks for commenting! The curry is also nice with chicken, tofu, or zucchini. I hope you enjoy it! By the way, I am a former Alaska resident (Eagle River, near Anchorage)! I look forward to reading about your cooking adventures in Fairbanks!

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