Prawn and Pumpkin Curry

curry – always ugly in a photo!

This recipe comes from the usually very reliable Curry. I chose this based purely on the fact that we had both pumpkin and prawns to use up. I was a bit concerned about both the lack of chilli and the coconut milk, as I know this is not one of Andy’s favourite ingredients.

But you never know, if you never give it a go. By our standards, this is a very mild curry. This would suit people who aren’t big on spice (whether that be chilli spice or just lots of different spices) and could easily be served as a vegetarian dish (or side) by omitting the prawns.

Personally I found it lacking in the heat department (rectified by some generous spoonfuls of a fearsome Chinese chilli chutney I have!). Also, as pumpkin doesn’t hold its shape well, if you overcook (like we did – the whole point of curry is cook ahead!) you end up with kind of a pumpkin sludge, rather than pumpkin. Finally, I used coconut cream, rather than milk because that is what was available. However, both coconut and pumpkin are very sweet and, without a serious spice backbone, for both Andy and me, this curry came out a little too sweet for our liking.

This is definitely a dish which has appeal but serve as part of a meal, rather than as the meal, and watch the cooking of the pumpkin.

A final note: I really recommend growing your own curry leaves. They’re fearsomely expensive here in Adelaide (if you can find/buy them at a supermarket) and a curry leaf plant is a very easy patio plant to deal with. No excuses!

Prawn and Pumpkin Curry


  • vegetable oil
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds
  • cumin seeds (pinch, or to taste!)
  • curry leaves (10, or more if you love them)
  • inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced finely
  • three dried Kashmiri chillis, broken in half
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 150g pumpkin, cut into chunks
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ½ tin coconut cream
  • 8 large green prawns, peeled & deveined, leave the tail section on for glamour, if you wish


  1. Heat the oil in a wok and add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they start popping, add the curry leaves, ginger, chillis and onion. Cook over a low - medium heat until the onions start turning golden.
  2. Add the pumpkin and turmeric, stir, and add the coconut cream and add water to cover the pumpkin. Stir and bring to the boil. Cook, covered, until the pumpkin begins to soften.
  3. When you're ready to eat, reduce the heat, add the prawns and cook until they are done.
  4. Serve immediately. We served over egg noodles for a change, but rice would work just as well.

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