There is an authentic Thai restaurant not too far from where I live that is one of the most unique places I have been in the city. There are not many decisions to make there: they have two seatings for dinner, and the prix fixe meal includes about eight courses (none of which you select yourself). The fancy term for this is a “chef’s tasting menu,” but at this location – it does not feel like a chef’s tasting menu, it feels like what they felt like making that day. Which, I suppose, is actually the definition of a chef’s tasting menu. The offerings at this Thai restaurant varies a bit from visit to visit, but one dish is a staple: pumpkin curry.
I never would have thought to try pumpkin curry if it had not been served to me at this restaurant. While I eat other squash that are similar to pumpkin (butternut and acorn squash are really each just an inch from pumpkin), it just would not have jumped out at me on a menu to order. I bake with pumpkin regularly, but have never made a savory dish with pumpkin puree. And curry? Not my usual ask at a restaurant. But now, I order pumpkin curry whenever I see it on a menu – which is not nearly often enough.
I have not experimented with curry more than anyone who bought a 1 oz McCormick seasoning several years ago for some recipe – I would not call myself an expert by any means. In looking for a recipe to try out, I wanted all basic ingredients, no specialty items that would require a trip to an ethnic market or a conversation with customer service at Whole Foods. I found one! While this recipe lacks the layered and complex flavors of the pumpkin curries I have ordered at restaurants, it is two of my favorite things: 1) easy, and 2) healthy. If you are not sure about curries, try starting with this one. A pound is a healthy amount of shrimp for this recipe, and you will find it filling and satisfying.
– extra virgin olive oil
– 1 medium sweet onion, sliced thinly in to strips
– 1 T minced ginger
– 1 T minced garlic
– 1 pie pumpkin (also called “sugar pumpkin”) – puree half, and roast or microwave the other half
– 3/4 c diced tomatoes (drained if from a can)
– 1 c chicken broth
– 1 c water
– 1 c light unsweetened coconut milk
– 1 1/2 t curry powder
– 1/8 t cayenne pepper
– 1 pound raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
– juice from one lime
– fried slices of shallots, and chopped cilantro, for serving
How do I make it?
- Heat a large pan over medium heat; when warm, add some extra virgin olive oil.
- When the oil is heated, add the onion and cook until soft (about 5 minutes).
- Add the ginger and garlic and stir until fragrant (not long – 30-60 seconds).
- Stir in the pumpkin puree and diced tomato; cook, stirring frequently, until pumpkin is golden brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add broth, water, coconut milk, curry powder, and cayenne pepper; simmer for 20 minutes.
- Add remaining pumpkin, shrimp, and lime juice. Simmer until the shrimp is pink all the way through.
- Serve on a bed of quinoa and top with fried shallots and cilantro!
As with other shrimp and seafood dishes, this Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp is best when fresh off the stove, but can weather a day or two as a reheated leftover.
Original link: http://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/pumpkin-shrimp-curry
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