This Indian pumpkin curry is everything you want in a curry. It's warm and comforting with just the right blend of intoxicating spices.
I love curry! If you haven't tried my aloo vindaloo or my tofu jalfrezi, you really have to. I've been dying to develop an Indian pumpkin and coconut curry recipe. I mean, are there two ingredients that say "comfort food" more than earthy pumpkin and creamy coconut milk? Here they pair up with high protein chickpeas to make a cozy, hearty dinner that everyone will love.
If you can, make this curry ahead so that all the flavors have a chance to mingle. It reheats well, and the flavor intensifies while it's waiting for you in the fridge!
Related Post: If you like pumpkin, you might also like this pumpkin pasta sauce.
💚Reasons You'll Love This Recipe
💚This pumpkin curry recipe is naturally vegan and gluten-free.
💚With a complex blend of aromatic spices like cumin, turmeric, garam masala and curry powder, this curry is packed with well-balanced flavor in every bite.
💚The ingredient list is straightforward and the cooking process just requires sautéing onions and spices then simmering in coconut milk. Easy weeknight dinner!
💚This curry can be customized to suit your preference with heat level, different squash varieties or mix-ins, and served over rice, quinoa or with freshly baked bread.
Did you know that Indian pumpkin curry is a powerhouse of nutrients? Not only is it extraordinarily tasty, it's loaded with vitamins and minerals. Take a look:
- Pumpkin: Nutrient dense pumpkin is the star of this dish. It's rich in vitamin A and protective antioxidants. Butternut squash makes a good substitute if pumpkins aren't in season.
- Onion: Used as a base for so many dishes, onions are rich in compounds that may reduce cholesterol levels (reference 11 Cholesterol-Lowering Foods.)
- Tomatoes: No curry paste or tomato paste here! We're using fresh tomatoes which are rich in lycopene.
- Chickpeas: Also known as garbanzo beans, this legume is rich in fiber and protein, making chickpeas the perfect substitute for meat in vegan and vegetarian dishes. If you like protein packed, healthy curries, you might also like this creamy sweet potato curry.
- Garlic: Super food garlic is packed with vitamin B and C, manganese, selenium, copper and iron.
- Ginger: Ginger has powerful anti inflammatory properties.
- Red Chili Peppers: Did you know that red chilies are jam packed with Vitamin C? They're also rich in antioxidants.
- Turmeric: This yellow spice has such powerfully beneficial health properties that you can buy it in supplement form! Curcumin is the substance in turmeric that's responsible for its powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties (reference: Anti-Inflammatory Effects of Curcumin)
- Coconut Milk: I used light coconut milk in this recipe to reduce the calories, but did you know that the fat in coconut milk is a healthy fat called medium chain triglycerides?
👨🍳How To Make Indian Pumpkin Curry
- Start by making a traditional curry base of sauteed onions, tomatoes and curry spices. This is what will give your curry that delicious warming flavor.
- Now pour in your coconut milk and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, and add your chopped pumpkin (or squash) and chickpeas.
- Put the lid on your pot, and leave everything to cook for 30 minutes. Check every 10 minutes or so to make sure that not too much liquid has boiled off. If you find that your curry is getting a bit dry, add a small cup of water and give everything a good stir.
- Lastly, take the lid off the pot and simmer for 5-10 minutes to thicken your curry sauce.
- Garnish with wedges of lime and coriander and serve alongside basmati rice. Enjoy!
*The full recipe with measurements is below.
🍽️What To Serve With Indian Pumpkin Curry
- Get out your rice cooker and make a side of this delicious rice cooker coconut rice.
- Serve with a side of vegan naan. Or try my Za'atar Bread - Za'atar Manaquish.
- A simple cucumber, onion and tomato salad like this Jerusalem salad would be perfect with pumpkin curry.
- Serve with a side of vegan yogurt mixed with grated cucumber.
Allow the curry to cool completely after cooking, then transfer to an airtight container. Glass or plastic containers work best. Make sure the curry is submerged in the sauce before sealing the container. This prevents discoloration. Refrigerate for up to 4 days.
Indian pumpkin curry freezes well for longer term storage. First cool the curry completely. Then, transfer to freezer bags or airtight containers, making sure to remove as much excess air as possible. It should stay fresh in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To reheat, thaw pumpkin curry overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stove top over medium-low heat until hot, adding water if needed to thin.
Try My Aloo Gobi Recipe!
If you love great Indian vegan curry recipes, you'll love this aloo gobi recipe.
🙋Frequently Asked Questions
Any winter squash like butternut, kabocha, or sugar pumpkin works well. Choose one with sweet, creamy flesh that will break down into the sauce. Avoid stringy or watery varieties.
Yes, canned pumpkin can be substituted in place of fresh pumpkin in most curries. Use 2 15-ounce cans and reduce any added liquids.
Yes, you can easily adjust the spiciness of the curry. For more heat, add another chopped chili pepper or use a spicier variety like serrano or jalapeño. You can also add 1⁄4-1⁄2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes. If the curry gets too spicy, balance it out by adding more coconut milk or pumpkin puree to tone down the heat. Taste as you go when adding extra spices and heat, and adjust to your personal tolerance level. Adding spicy garnishes like chili oil or pepper flakes at the end also allows people to add more heat to their individual portions. Experiment with different levels of spiciness to find your favorite variation!
Craving More Vegan Recipes?
15 Easy Vegetarian Curry Recipes By Tea For Turmeric
Indian Pumpkin Curry
- 1 onion finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon ginger finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 red chili pepper deseeded and minced
- 2 cups tomatoes chopped
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 2 cans light coconut milk
- 4 cups pumpkin or butternut squash chopped into bite size pieces
- 2 cans chickpeas
- 1 handful fresh coriander (cilantro)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan or casserole dish, and add onion. Saute for 3-5 minutes, or until the onion begins to soften. Add the ginger, garlic and chillies and tomatoes, and saute for another 3 minute. Add the turmeric, garam masala, curry powder and saute for 1 more minute.
- Chop the pumpkin or squash into bite size pieces.
- Add the coconut milk and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and add pumpkin and chickpeas. Put the lid on the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, adding water at regular intervals if the the curry gets dry.
- Remove the lid from the pan, and simmer for 5-10 minutes to thicken up the curry. Garnish with cilantro and serve with steamed rice.