Autumn Comfort Food: Pumpkin and Peanut Curry

Making pumpkin soup is one of our Halloween week traditions. Last year, it was pumpkin tortilla. This year, we tried a Thai-inspired recipe for pumpkin curry with peanut butter and coconut milk.

The recipe, by chef Tom Norrington-Davies, attracted us with all its flavorful ingredients. In addition to the peanuts and coconut, there’s lime juice and zest, soy sauce or fish sauce, cilantro, chili peppers, ginger, and garlic. If you keep a well-stocked pantry and have a pumpkin or butternut squash lying around, you might not even need to do any additional shopping.

Unfortunately, we were a bit underwhelmed with the recipe as is. (It also ended up looking a lot more homogenized than the image that accompanied the recipe – not a big deal, but it struck as more of a comfort food/family meal than the company-worthy dish we had originally imagined.) However, we would still recommend it as an excellent base recipe. After making a few adjustments and serving it over nutty brown rice, it was hearty and warming.

Original recipe
• Pumpkin and Peanut Curry, from Delicious

Here are the adjustments we made to punch it up:
• More peanut butter: We doubled the amount. If we had them on hand, we would also add some crushed peanuts as garnish. 
• More spices: The recipe calls for fresh coriander (cilantro) only. We added ground coriander as well as ground cumin – about a teaspoon of each in step 2. 
• More heat: We kept the seeds in one of the chili peppers. 
• More ginger: The recipe calls for a 1 cm piece, which we increased to an inch. 
• Lemongrass: We didn’t have any on hand, but we’d probably add some next time. 
• The pumpkin: We used a sugar pie pumpkin. Next time, we’d probably go for an even sweeter kabocha or butternut squash. 
• Garnishes: We threw on some sliced pickled shallots for a tangy counterpoint. Fried onions or shallots would also be good.


(Image: Emily Ho)


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