Rainy Days And Fiery Pumpkin-Mango Curry

It’s raining. Pretty heavily, I might add. We had to shut all our windows, even the ones on the side of the house that usually can stay open despite the weather outside! I guess autumn is readily showing us that despite the few rays of sunshine we occasionally get throughout the day, it is no longer summer.

I know, I have been bitching about the weather frequently (excuse my language).

I guess it’s that small piece inside of me that still hasn’t come to terms with the fact that I am now living in a country with four instead of two seasons: in Tanzania, there is only rain, or no rain, both of which are warm. I am a bit surprised I haven’t caught the flu that’s going around! It must be due to the amazing anti-cold smoothie I had last week! Or, perhaps, because I just ate this vitamin-loaded curry, that, and I quote my boyfriend, “is a real anti-cold meal”: not only is it made up of chewy pumpkin, fresh mango, and heaps of ginger, it also contains a chili, which will bring out that inner warmth to heat up every part of your body (even your ice-cold fingers, I promise!). What a great way to end another day of sitting on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, while trying to concentrate desperately on my university literature, even though it is so cold in our apartment and we STILL haven’t turned on the heating – at least at the end of it, I feel warm, happy, from the inside out!

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Can you see the steam rising from the plate? It was so nice and warm, spicy and fresh, savory but sweet…oh yum, it was delicious!

Warming Pumpkin-Mango Curry

Ingredients:

(serves 3-4)

  • 2 coffee mugs of rice (uncooked) – enough to serve 4 people
  • 750g pumpkin, diced (As you can see below, I used only a piece of a very large pumpkin, but you may be able to use a medium-sized hokkaido!)
  • 2 small onions
  • 3cm fresh ginger, chopped as small as possible
  • 1 mango
  • 1/2 bunch basil
  • 1 tsp. coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. red curry paste
  • 250ml vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 can of coconut cream (ca. 200ml)
  • 4 Tbs. soy sauce (wheat-free, vegan)
  • 1 chili (optional – we like eating very hot, spicy food, but the red curry paste also adds hotness, so be careful!)

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Procedure:

1. Start cooking the rice.

2. Dice your pumpkin into small, edible chunks. Heat up 1/2 tsp. of coconut oil in a wok.

3. In two turns, roast the pumpkin dices. After the first half is slightly browned, take out of the pan. Now add another 1/2 tsp. of coconut oil. Roast the second half of the pumpkin dices. When they are also browned, re-add the first half into the wok. (We do this so that all of the dices are truly browned – the portion of 750g pumpkin is too large to brown all at once in a wok.)

4. Add the ginger, onion, chili, and curry paste to the wok.

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5. Stir together, and then gradually add the vegetable broth and chopped up basil. Put the lid on the wok and bring the curry to a boil.

6. When the curry starts boiling, add the coconut milk and lemon juice, as well as the soy sauce. You may need a bit more soy sauce, depending on how savoury you like your meals. You can also add salt! Stir a couple of times, and put the lid back on. Again, bring to a boil, then add the mango cubes. Allow to simmer for a few minutes, turning down the heat.

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7. Once the consistency is creamy and thickened, as in the picture above, it is done! If you like your pumpkin to have more “bite”, you shouldn’t let it simmer for too long. I like mine mushy, as I feel it adds more “cream” to the curry.

8. Serve on a bed of rice, and garnish with basil leaves, if you like. If you are not vegan/vegetarian, you can add some diced chicken with the pumpkin at the beginning! If you are vegan/vegetarian and want to add more protein, feel free to add some tofu-cubes at the beginning.

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