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Pumpkin Curry

This is a recipe I made long ago and have tweaked over the years to be better and better. I hope you enjoy it. It’s, of course, carb-y, but it’s quite delicious, and can be made vegetarian if that’s your thing. I’ve had it both ways, but do prefer it with chicken.

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Pumpkin Curry Noodles (with or without Chicken)

  • 5 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 inches ginger root, minced or grated
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup tamari dark soy sauce
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cooked pumpkin
  • 2 rounded tablespoonfuls mild or hot curry paste (recommended: Patak’s) found on international foods aisle
  • 3 tablespoons five-spice powder
  • 1 lb. spaghetti (or rice) noodles
  • (optional) prepared chicken (my favorite is to use rotisserie chicken, especially the thighs and drumstick meat, cut up into bite-size pieces)

Directions

Heat a large pot of water for noodles, salt water. Add pasta and cook to desired tenderness. (Be careful, when using rice noodles, because they need to be prepared differently than regular pasta, and the cook times will be very different. Adjust as necessary.)

While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Add garlic, ginger, onion, red bell pepper, and pepper flakes to the pan and cook together a couple of minutes, then add peanut butter and melt it. Whisk soy into peanut butter, then stir in pumpkin and curry paste. The sauce will be very thick. Turn down the heat to low. (important!!) Add a ladle or two of pasta water to thin sauce a bit and simmer over low heat. Adjust salt, to taste. Continue to thin the sauce if it seems to thick (given the peanut butter and pumpkin, it tends to be thicker than you think).

If you’re using the pre-cut chicken, dust it with the five-spice powder. You may not need as much as the recipe calls for. It depends on how much chicken you use. You can also amend this to use almost any kind of meat if you’d prefer others. But I think it tastes the best with chicken.

Drain pasta and return pasta to the pot. Add the curry-pumpkin sauce and (optional) chicken and toss thoroughly. May want to chop scallions or chives to top. Can also be made as a side-dish (with or without chicken) and is great for pot-luck.

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