This simple pumpkin curry is as thick and hearty as a chili but with all the yummy, spicy flavors of an Indian curry. It's packed with protein and is perfect either by itself or served over basmati rice or quinoa.
This one-pot pumpkin curry is so hearty and flavorful! It's also a simple recipe that gives this wonderful winter squash a chance to shine without overwhelming its naturally delicious flavor.
Curry spices are terrific with winter squashes and I especially love this combination in this butternut squash curry or this curried acorn squash. It works like a charm in this pumpkin curry recipe as well. The curry sauce with garam masala and cayenne nicely complements the sweetness of the pumpkin, allowing this healthful veggie to shine.
There's also a good dose of protein here in the form of vegan meat, but you can skip it if you want a thinner pumpkin curry, or substitute it with brown lentils.
If you have omnivores at home this is a great dish to serve them. The vegan meat makes the dish hearty and meaty while keeping it divinely plant-based and healthy -- and did I say stunningly delicious?
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Why you'll love this pumpkin curry
- It is packed with flavor. The tomato, onion and ginger-garlic base add lots of great flavor to this easy pumpkin curry and the garam masala and cayenne add spicy, rich notes. Use a good vegetable stock or mushroom stock for even more flavor.
- It is one-pot and takes just 30 minutes to make. You might need some extra time to prep the pumpkin, unless you buy it pre-cut, but otherwise this recipe is as simple as it gets.
- Everyone can enjoy it. The recipe is nut-free, gluten-free, soy-free and, with just nine grams of net carbs in a serving, it can even be enjoyed by someone eating a plant-based low-carb diet.
- Pumpkin. You can use any variety of pumpkin, including sugar pumpkin. Or replace with another winter squash like butternut squash or acorn squash.
- Coconut oil or avocado oil. You can also use another oil like grapeseed oil, sunflower oil or safflower oil.
- Flavor base: Onions + tomatoes + ginger-garlic paste
- Spices: Turmeric + cayenne/paprika + garam masala. You can replace the garam masala with curry powder for a differently delicious pumpkin curry.
- Mushroom stock or vegetable stock. You can replace with water.
- Vegan meat crumbles. I used Beyond Beef but any vegan beef or beef crumbles are fine here. Meaty crumbles are great in Indian curries, like this easy Indian curry with mince and veggies and this vegan keema masala. They are just as wonderful in this pumpkin curry.
- Full-fat coconut milk. This adds a delicious smoothness and creaminess to the curry.
- Cilantro (optional). For garnish. Alternatively, you can stir in a tablespoon or two or lemon juice or lime juice to finish.
How to make pumpkin curry
1. Heat oil. Add onions with a bit of salt and saute over medium heat until they begin to brown.
2. Stir in the ginger garlic paste and saute for 30 seconds.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and cook until they become quite pulpy.
4. Add cayenne and turmeric and mix in.
5. Stir in the vegan meat and add a cup of vegetable stock or water.
6. Add the pumpkin cubes to the pot and mix. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes.
7. Stir in the coconut milk and mix it in.
8. Add the garam masala to the curry, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and let the curry cook another 10 minutes for all the flavors to merge. Garnish with cilantro. Serve hot.
This curry is a great one-pot meal and you can eat it by itself. But here are other serving ideas:
- Serve this pumpkin curry with coconut milk over a bed of jeera rice or quinoa. If you are eating low-carb, serve the curry over cauliflower rice.
- There are so many veggies in this curry you don't really need a vegetable side. But if you have the time, make these Bombay potatoes. They are delicious with the pumpkin.
- Serve some poppadum on the side for a nice crunch.
You can use any variety of pumpkin (except the large pumpkins used to carve jack-o'-lanterns). My favorite to use in this curry recipe is a sugar pumpkin. Kabocha squash, acorn squash and butternut squash will work too.
It's moderately spicy, perhaps mildly spicy even for someone who adores heat in their food. You can adjust the spice level up by using more cayenne.
You definitely can, although it does add a lovely, hearty, cozy thickness and the protein, of course. You can also replace the plant-based meat with two 14-oz cans of brown lentils or chickpeas (garbanzo beans).
Yes! As with most curries and stews, this curry tastes even better the next day, so it's definitely a good make-ahead candidate.
You can add veggies like green or red bell peppers, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower and carrots.
I haven't tried this curry with pumpkin puree but I think it could actually work quite well. The puree would make this curry thicker and would work well with the vegan meat.
- Refrigerate: Curry leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to four days.
- Freeze: Freeze the curry for up to three months in an airtight container or freezer-safe container.
- Reheat: Reheat curry on the stovetop or in the microwave until heated through.
More vegan pumpkin recipes
- Dutch oven or large pot with lid
- 1 tablespoon oil (coconut oil or any vegetable oil)
- 1 medium onion (finely diced)
- 1 heaping tbsp ginger garlic paste
- 2 medium tomatoes (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon cayenne (or paprika. Use more cayenne for more heat)
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 14-16 oz vegan meat (I used Beyond Beef but any variety is fine)
- 1 cup mushroom stock (or vegetable stock/vegetable broth)
- 4 cups pumpkin (cut in a ½-inch dice)
- 14 oz full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon garam masala
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons cilantro (chopped, for garnish. Optional)
- Heat oil in large pot or Dutch oven. Add onions with a bit of salt and saute over medium heat until they begin to brown.
- Stir in the ginger garlic paste and saute for 30 seconds.
- Stir in the tomatoes and cook until they become quite pulpy.
- Add cayenne and turmeric and mix in.
- Stir in the vegan meat and add the stock or water.
- Add the pumpkin cubes to the pot and mix. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the coconut milk and mix it in.
- Add the garam masala to the curry, bring to a boil, lower heat to a simmer and let the curry cook another 10 minutes for all the flavors to merge. Garnish with cilantro, if using. Serve hot.