Thai Pumpkin Curry

Spicy Thai curry is a delicious autumn meal when made with fresh pumpkin.
Thai Pumpkin Curry

Thai Pumpkin Curry

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

Welcome to the last day of Pumpkin Week! Today I  am sharing my recipe for pumpkin curry, which I have  prepared with fried tofu.

I’ve always been a fan of spicy curry, and some of my favorites have been Thai. Thai curries generally come in several types: red, yellow, green, and Massaman (Muslim), and Paneng.

Many people  are most familiar with the yellow curry, as curry powder is familiar to most people, although with Thai curries, pastes are generally used. And while authentically you would make these yourself, it is a simple enough prospect  to buy them already made. For one thing, unless you use a mortar and pestle, using something like a food processor to smooth the paste will leave a wicked surprise on your acrylic bowl from the fresh turmeric: it stains like evil.

There are typical things often served with certain curries: red curry is often served with bamboo shoots and peppers. Green curry is often served with little round green Thai eggplants. Yellow curry, which will have a more southern Thai flavor will often come with potatoes, and the same with the Mussaman, except it has a more northern Thai flavor. Penang curry usually has a bit of a peanut flavor added with red paste.

In restaurants they will serve your choice of meat, shrimp or tofu with these. I often reserve the red for shrimp, yellow for chicken,  Mussaman  for beef and green for vegetable and tofu, because I think  it works best.

When deciding what type paste to use in this one, I chose the red paste for the color it would offer (besides, red curry paste is my favorite!)

I had seen a lovely package of fried tofu, which at 5 ounces is light and fluffy and went with that. it’s a timesaver, but I have written out how to make it yourself. You would use a block of tofu, not the 5 ounce weight, because after pressing and frying, the tofu naturally weighs less.

I used Thai  lime leaves in this, which you can usually find at an Asian market- if not fresh they might have some in the freezer. You may have referred to these leaves as “kaffir” but it is not proper to do so, because that word  doesn’t have anything to do with the knobby little Makrut limes of  Thailand, but is an ugly racial slur. Be savvy and don’t step into that poo. I  liken the misuse of this descriptor to that of  what some people called Brazil nuts when I was a child. I won’t go into it. It is just disgusting to  me to bring hate into food.

Food is about love.
Thai Pumpkin Curry

And isn’t that a lovely curry?

I serve my Thai curries with jasmine rice. It has a distinctive floral fragrance that you won’t find with ordinary long grain rice. It comes in medium grain (and also short grain) types as well,  including brown versions, which are not hulled. If you don’t have it but want to use a premium rice, basmati is wonderful, but as gourmet selection goes, basmati has a nutty character, so when you are choosing your rice down to the aroma, you would take that into account.

Join me tomorrow when I post with friends for Cookbook Month. We are doing recipe (inspired by) community cookbooks. I have put together my version of Funeral  Potatoes, aka Hash Brown Casserole. Like potato salad, everybody has their own take on it. Personally, mine is just tops, but don’t take my word for it. Taste and see. 😉 Until then-


Thai Pumpkin Curry

Thai Pumpkin Curry

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Thai Pumpkin Curry

  • 1 large onion,  cut into wedges
  • 2 teaspoons chopped garlic
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, quartered
  • 1-1/2 pounds fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed and cut into cubes
  • 4 ounces bamboo shoots, julienned
  • 1 tablespoon minced galangal or fresh ginger
  • 6 Thai lime leaves (3 with double leaves)
  • 3 tablespoons fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons palm sugar or brown sugar
  • 2 (14 ounces each) cans unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1-2 red Thai chili, split lengthwise
  • 5 ounces fried tofu  (about 1 block extra firm tofu, prepared)
  • 1-2 tablespoons cilantro
  • steamed jasmine rice (as needed)


  1. Heat oil in a large skillet and add the onion and garlic and cook briefly until onions start to soften.
  2. Add the mushrooms and cook until they also start to soften.
  3. Add remaining ingredients up to and including the Thai chili; cover and simmer 20-25 minutes or until pumpkin  is tender (test with fork).
  4. Stir in the fried tofu and heat briefly, then garnish with fresh cilantro. 
  5. Serve with steamed jasmine rice.

Fried tofu: I bought mine as a convenience-  you can find it in Asian markets. If you cannot find it, here is the method: 

  1. Open the tofu and place on paper towels on a plate and weigh it down with something heavy, such as another plate with some cans on it. Let it sit one  hour, draining off  any water.
  2. Then wrap and freeze it overnight (this will change the texture).
  3. Slice it and coat in a dredge of cornstarch and fry until golden, then drain.

From  the kitchen of

Thai Pumpkin Curry

Here are today’s #PumpkinWeek recipes:

Pumpkin Drink Recipes:

“Grown Up” Potter Pumpkin Juice from The Crumby Kitchen
Hot’N’Spicy Pumpkin Margarita from Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Savory Pumpkin Recipes:

Pumpkin and Fish Stew from A Day in the Life on the Farm
Pumpkin Chili from Making Miracles
Pumpkin Crab Soup from Hardly A Goddess
Pumpkin Pasta from Caroline’s Cooking
Thai Pumpkin Curry from Palatable Pastime

Sweet Pumpkin Recipes:

Caramel Pecan Pumpkin Bread from The Freshman Cook
Easy Pumpkin Ice Cream from Forking Up
Fall Harvest Pumpkin Sourdough Muffins from Cooking With Carlee
Pumpkin Cheesecake Macaron from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures
Pumpkin Cream Horns from Mildly Meandering
Pumpkin Milkshake from Family Around The Table
Pumpkin Pancakes with Apple Cider Syrup from The Chef Next Door
Pumpkin Spice Thumbprint Cookies from The Bitter Side of Sweet
Pumpkin Spiced Banana Bread from Daily Dish Recipes
Pumpkin Tiramisu from The Redhead Baker

Other Pumpkin Recipe:

Pumpkin Dog Biscuits from Feeding Big


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