Masaman Winter Squash Curry

Thai Masaman Pumpkin Curry is one of my all time favorite dishes. It is real Southeast Asian vegetarian comfort food, mildly spiced, nicely perfumed and rib-sticking at the same time. You can use pumpkin, any type of winter squash or even sweet potatoes with great results.

 


Serves 4-6

4 cups pumpkin, butternut squash, kabocha squash or sweet potatoes cut into large 1 ½” chunks
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 large shallot, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons Thai masaman curry paste (make your own [recipe below] or buy it at an Asian market or online)
1 large carrot,  peeled and sliced onto coins
1 sweet bell pepper, seeded and sliced into medium strips
2 cup peeled, cubed potatoes
3 cups packaged vegetable or chicken broth or water
2-14 oz cans coconut milk
2 tablespoons fish sauce (or light soy sauce if you want to keep it vegan)     
2-3 kaffir lime leaves (optional)       
juice of one lime
1 small bunch fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
1 small bunch of mint, roughly chopped
4 scallions, sliced into rounds


In a heavy casserole, add the onions, crushed pepper, shallots, garlic, carrot, bell pepper and curry paste. Sauté and stir until it all is wilted and coated with curry. Add the pumpkin and potatoes and toss to coat. Add all remaining ingredients except the herbs. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook, covered, for 35-40 minutes or until pumpkin is cooked through.

Serve in bowls, garnished with lime leaves, cilantro, mint and scallions


Masaman Curry Paste Recipe


10 to 12 dried whole red chilies, crushed
1 1/2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 whole star anise
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon black or white peppercorns
4 medium shallots, roughly chopped
2-inch piece lemongrass, chopped
1/2-inch piece fresh galangal or ginger, chopped
3 to 4 fresh or dried kaffir lime leaves, chopped (or 2 teaspoons of lemon zest)
1 teaspoon sea salt

In a large mortar and pestle or in a food processor, blend the ingredients together until a soft paste is formed. Tah-dah.