Pumpkin Curry! I gave this Asian-inspired main dish a seasonal upgrade with pumpkin, broccoli, and a dash of warming cinnamon. Served with cilantro rice and crispy tofu for a balanced lunch or dinner you can warm up to all season long.
The concept for this pumpkin curry came to me after hiking in the Tetons last weekend. The morning was cool and crisp—ideal for walking with coffee in tow—and the bright yellow aspen leaves made it really start to feel like fall.
But I wanted to take the pumpkin beyond your basic PSL. I wanted a balanced mix of sweet, savory, creamy and spicy.
Pumpkin curry was the answer.
There are three major components to this recipe, and you can prepare each in advance to make day-of cooking easier if you want.
The first part is boiling basmati rice. I used brown for extra fiber, but white rice will also work if you prefer the taste. Once it's cooked, toss with cilantro, salt, and pepper. Easy.
The second component is the crispy tofu, which is pressed, coated in cornstarch and dry-fried over the stovetop. Pressing the tofu (placing something heavy on top to drain out the liquid it's packaged with) helps to make the tofu crispier, so try not to skip this step.
To make cleanup simple, I used the same skillet to cook both the tofu and the curry. (Opt for one with raised edges or use a Dutch oven.) The sauce is a fall twist on one of my favorite weeknight meals: coconut curry. Pumpkin adds flavor and makes the curry extra thick and creamy.
Pumpkin curry is comfort food to the max. It's feeling a lot like fall now, isn't it?
Coconut curry gets a seasonal upgrade with pureed pumpkin, broccoli, and a dash of warming cinnamon. Served with cilantro rice and crispy tofu for a balanced lunch or dinner.
- 1 cup uncooked white or brown basmati rice
- 2 cups vegetable broth or water
- ⅓ cup chopped cilantro
- Salt and pepper
- 1 block extra-firm tofu, drained, pressed, and chopped into cubes (see note)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil or oil of choice
- ½ cup diced onion (½ medium)
- ½ cup diced carrot (1 large)
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 teaspoons grated ginger
- 4 cups broccoli florets and stems
- 2 13.5 ounce cans coconut milk
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (or 1 ¾ cups pureed, fresh pumpkin)
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon cayenne (optional)
- Salt and pepper
- Lime wedges
- Fresh herbs (such as cilantro, basil, mint)
- Crushed red pepper
- Add uncooked rice and vegetable broth to large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer 20 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, salt and pepper. Fluff with a fork and set aside.
Preheat Dutch oven or large skillet with raised edges over high heat. Gently stir cubed tofu, cornstarch, and salt and pepper in large bowl. Transfer to hot skillet and cook 5 minutes, or until bottom of tofu is brown and easily separates from pan without sticking. Use tongs to flip, and repeat until each side is cooked. Transfer cooked tofu to wire rack and allow to cool while you cook curry.
In same pan used to cook tofu, melt coconut oil over medium-high heat. Stir in onion and carrot and cook 5 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Reduce heat to medium and stir in garlic, ginger, and broccoli. Stir and cook until broccoli softens and turns vibrant green.
- Stir in coconut milk, pumpkin, curry powder, cinnamon, cayenne (if using), salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and cook 15 minutes, or until liquid is reduced and curry is thick and creamy. Remove from heat.
- Divide cooked rice and tofu between plates. Ladle curry over rice-tofu mixture and garnish with lime wedges, fresh herbs, and/or crushed red pepper as desired.
To press tofu: Drain liquid from tofu package. Wrap uncooked tofu block in paper towel (or a clean dishcloth) and place on a plate or in a baking dish. Cover with a heavy object, such as a can or skillet, and refrigerate overnight (or for at least one hour) before unwrapping and chopping pressed tofu into cubes.
Save this Pumpkin Curry Recipe for Later:
How are you using pumpkin in your kitchen this fall?
Try pumpkin pancakes for brunch!