Pumpkin and broad bean coconut curry

Deliciously adaptable: Pumpkin and broad bean coconut curry.
Deliciously adaptable: Pumpkin and broad bean coconut curry. Photo: Marcel Aucar

This pumpkin curry is a simple base that can be adapted to lots of different vegetables and meats. I have used broad beans here as they are in season now. Try to get the smaller pods if possible, as they will be more tender and you won't have to double skin them.


3 lemongrass stalks

6 kaffir lime leaves

handful coriander leaves

2 garlic cloves, peeled

3 medium tomatoes

2 red chillies

3cm piece of ginger

20ml vegetable oil

800g Japanese pumpkin, peeled, cut into 4cm pieces

500g whole broad beans, podded

2 x 400ml cans coconut cream

3 tsp fish sauce

1 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 lime, juiced

fried shallots

Thai basil to garnish


To make the spice paste, trim the lemongrass, discarding the root end and any stiff outer leaves. Put the lemongrass, lime leaves, peeled garlic, half the coriander and tomatoes and chillies, seeded if you like a cooler curry, into a food processor. Peel and roughly chop the ginger then add to the processor. Blend to a rough paste, scraping it down occasionally with a rubber spatula.

Pour a thin layer of vegetable oil into a heavy-based saucepan, add the spice paste and leave to cook over a moderate heat for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally until the paste darkens very slightly in colour. Add the pumpkin and broad beans and stir to coat in the paste. Add the coconut milk, fish sauce, sesame oil and light soy sauce, stir and leave to simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Add lime juice and check seasoning. If more salt is needed, add a few drops of fish sauce.

To serve, spoon over steamed rice and scatter with remaining coriander, then top with fried shallots and Thai basil.


A great alternative to rice is steamed couscous.