Thai Yellow Coconut Curry with Pumpkin-24.jpg

Thai Yellow Coconut Curry with Pumpkin

The cooling flavor of the coconut milk contrasts with the taste of the nutty roasted pumpkin and the slightly spicy effect of the curry paste. The impressive bright color of this vegetarian Thai curry is perfect for a cozy fall day. 

Homemade curry paste is the freshest and most flavorful option, but it can take a little more time to make. One batch of this red curry paste can last for two to three recipes. Just store the leftover curry paste refrigerated in an airtight container until ready to use. It lasts up to a month. If you want to substitute store bought curry paste that is fine - my favorite brand is Mae Ploy (it can be found online here or at stores like Target and Ralph’s). 

What type of pumpkin should I cook with? 

Small, sweet varieties of pumpkin typically labeled “sugar pie” or “pie pumpkin” are the best option for roasting. Larger types have a tougher texture and lack the flavor of smaller pumpkins. Save the seeds from the pumpkin and roast for a snack. 

Dietary restrictions? Here’s an alternative:

This recipe can be made vegan by substituting vegetable stock for the chicken stock and omitting the fish sauce. 



For the red curry paste: 

1 teaspoon coriander seeds 

1 teaspoon cumin seeds 

1 head garlic 

3 medium shallots

2-inch piece ginger, peeled 

5 medium Thai chilies

2 dried California chilies (dried Anaheim chilies)

2 stalks lemongrass, tender parts sliced only

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt 


For the soup: 

2 tablespoons vegetable oil 

½ medium yellow onion, sliced 

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped

1 (3-pound) sugar pumpkin, seeds removed, peeled and chopped into 2” pieces 

¼ cup red curry paste 

2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk 

4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)

1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

2 teaspoons fish sauce (optional) 


For serving: 

7 ounces thin rice noodles 

¼ cup sliced green onions

Handful fresh cilantro leaves

¼ cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds)  



For the red curry paste: 

Heat a medium non-stick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the coriander and cumin, shaking the pan occasionally until the seeds are toasted and fragrant, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside. 

Heat oven to broil. Peel the garlic cloves. Arrange the garlic, shallots and ginger on an aluminum foil-lined baking sheet. Broil until garlic is fragrant, about 1 to 2 minutes. Add to the bowl of a food processor with the Thai and California chilies, lemongrass, curry powder, coriander and cumin, processing and scraping down the sides as needed until pureed and smooth. 

Can be made and stored, refrigerated, in an airtight container until ready to use for about 2 weeks. 


For the soup: 

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add the vegetable oil and heat through. Add the onion, carrots, potatoes and pumpkin, cooking, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender, about 8 minutes. 

Add the red curry paste and cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup of the coconut milk and stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes then add the remaining coconut milk and chicken broth, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil then lower heat to medium-low and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the brown sugar and fish sauce and remove from heat. 


For serving: 

Add the rice noodles to a bowl of hot water and let sit until softened, about 10 minutes. Drain and set aside. 

Divide the noodles among soup bowls and ladle the curry over the top. Garnish with green onion, cilantro and pepitas.


Serves 4.





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