The first time I had pumpkin curry I was a little leery but felt like going out on a slight limb, since then I’ve been hooked on pumpkin curry and am generally tempted to order it when I see it on the menu. In reality I limit myself to this dish during the fall and winter. Coconut curry also used to be one of our fall-back meals pre-CSA. And it sort of was a fall-back meal the evening I made this too. I needed to feed 4 adults and one toddler, had an odd assortment of veggies in my fridge and really wanted to use up food I had rather than buy more food. IIRC this meal fit the bill. Unfortunately I either lost the photo or forgot to take one in the first place.
Like my green curry I mostly follow the instructions on the curry paste jar. And according to the jar measurements we are total spicey-heat wimps.
- 1 t. red curry paste (or to taste, we normally do 1 1/2 t, the jar recommends anything between 1 T and 2 T)
- 1 -14 oz can coconut milk
- 1 T. fish sauce (again 1 to 2 T to taste)
- 1/3 c. stock (or I use water in a pinch)
- 1 T. brown sugar
- firm winter squash (kabocha has a great dry and firm texture)
- red bell pepper
Please note I have no measurements because most of this stuff is flexible and the curry paste can dictates the amounts needed for the sauce. IIRC we used half a kabocha squash, 1/2 an onion, a couple carrots and whole red bell pepper for two cans of coconut milk. And of course put a pot of rice on to cook before you start (unless it is white, then put that on when you add the tofu and squash to their pan).
In a medium saucepan (I always use my 4 quart saucepan) whisk together the coconut milk and curry paste, simmer for about 5 minutes. Whisk in the fish sauce stock and brown sugar.
Slice the tofu into 3/4 to 1 inch thick slabs and press between a couple of clean, non-linty kitchen towels (or paper towels); I like to make the following layers: cutting board -towel – tofu – towel – cast iron skillet. Prep the squash by scraping the seeds out, peeling it and chopping it into 1″ cubes (actually with some squash it is easier to cut into strips or chunks and then cut off the peel). Prep the other veggies by cutting however you prefer (we like most our veggies in 1″ chunks, except the carrots which I like in thick matchstick pieces). Cut the tofu slabs into smaller chunks.
Add the tofu and winter squash to the curry sauce and let simmer for 5 or 10 minutes (um, no real clue on time, just check it every 5 minutes or so). Once the squash is almost fork tender add the other veggies and let it simmer until they are cooked to your liking (carrots are best at crisp tender IMO, actually you might want to add the red bell pepper last).