I’ve been obsessing over the pumpkin curry at Banana Leaf in my dad’s town for months. It’s phenomenal. I make a point to get it whenever we visit. (He lives about an hour away.) It seems relatively simple – spicy, creamy, with chunks of pumpkin, some chicken and basil – so, I decided to give it a shot in my own kitchen after we got a couple pumpkins from our CSA.
Well, it wasn’t nearly as good as Banana Leaf but it was tasty! Significant changes must be made to reach the same level though. I debated on even sharing my first attempt with you because it isn’t perfected but I figure a) you probably haven’t tried the pumpkin curry at Banana Leaf in little, old Port Townsend, WA so you don’t have that to compare it to and b) I’d like to have it for reference for, what I’m assuming will be, many future attempts at this dish.
For my inaugural pumpkin curry, I basically did a combination of this and this. The flavor was good, but not spicy enough. But the consistency was nowhere near what I was looking for. Part of the problem was that I used leftover roasted chicken that was chopped too small. The other problem was that it wasn’t creamy enough which could be remedied with more coconut milk or even pureed pumpkin. We shall see.
I think I might need Banana Leaf one more time before attempting again… hmmmm.
3 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast
1 (2 pound) sugar pumpkin — peeled, seeded and cubed
1 tablespoon butter
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 pinch ground turmeric
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup canned coconut milk
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 T fish sauce
1 tsp lime juice
fresh basil for garnish
Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and ginger; cook and stir until onion is transparent. Season with coriander, cumin, turmeric, and red pepper flakes. Continue to cook and stir until spices are fragrant. Add pumpkin, chicken, coconut milk, chicken broth, fish sauce, and lime juice. Season with salt to taste. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes over medium heat until pumpkin is tender. Serve over rice or noodles. Garnish with chopped basil.
I imagine this could easily be adapted for the slow cooker too!