Friday, December 10, 2010

When Life Gives You Pumpkins...

... Make Shortcut Pumpkin Curry!

The pumpkins we didn't carve for Halloween ended up staying on our front porch through Thanksgiving. When the Christmas decorations came out, I decided to put the pumpkins to good use with a spicy, creamy vegetable curry. I have made my own curry before, but didn't have all the spices on hand to do it this time around, so I took a shortcut, and used a Trader Joe's simmer sauce that had been languishing in the cupboard for a couple of months. Just between you and me? The jarred, shortcut curry was every bit as flavorful, and much less time consuming, as the homemade version.

Prep Time: 60 minutes (45 of which is baking time, don't panic!)
Cook Time: 20 minutes (or more, if you want to simmer slower and longer)
Ingredients: 8-10 (depending how many veggies you want to incorporate)

1 small pumpkin
1 small yellow onion
2 large carrots
Veggies of your choice (cauliflower, small waxy potatoes, green beans, chickpeas, broccoli, sweet potatoes, squash, etc.)
1 can coconut milk
1 jar Trader Joe's Thai red curry sauce
1 cups veg stock, or to taste
Cooked brown rice

To roast the pumpkin (a sugar pie pumpkin is best):

Preheat oven to 350. Slice pumpkin in half, and remove guts. Lay pumpkin halves face-down in a baking dish, and pour 2 tbsp water over each. Bake at least 40 minutes, until fork-tender, but not mushy. Remove skin from pumpkin halves and cut into large cubes. Set aside.

In a large, heavy bottomed pot or dutch oven, sautee the onion in 1 tbsp oil, then add veggies. Cook about 5 minutes. Add curry sauce and coconut milk. Simmer on medium/low until veggies are tender, then add pumpkin. Simmer about 10 more minutes. Add stock to thin sauce, or not (I didn't). Serve with hot, cooked brown rice as a main dish, or as a side dish with baked chicken strips, to curry-hating little ingrates who may or may not try a "no thank you bite," then declare it "too spicy!"

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