This flavor-packed Sri Lankan pumpkin curry is one of the best vegan curries you could try your hands at.
While meat-based curries have their own charm and depth of flavor, there’s just something different about vegetarian curries that make them a comfort meal that you’d want to keep trying again and again.
And this Sri Lankan pumpkin curry is no different- it has the right balanced taste and flavor that you’d want your curry to have, and is incredibly easy to make too.
Tempted enough to give the recipe a try in your kitchen? Scroll down and keep reading to know more about it.
Ingredients For the Recipe
You’ll need two sets of ingredients to make the Sri Lankan pumpkin curry. If you already have the curry powder, you can skip the first set and proceed with the rest.
For the Sri Lankan Curry Powder
- Basmati rice: 2 tbsp
- Dry red chilies: 3-4
- Mustard seeds: 1 tbsp
- Coriander seeds: 2 tbsps
- Cumin seeds: 1 tbsp
- Fennel seeds: 2 tsp
- Cloves: 5-6
- Black pepper (Whole): 3 tbsps
For the Pumpkin curry
- Oil: 2 tbsps
- Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
- Cumin seeds: 1 tsp
- Fenugreek seeds: ½ tsp
- Cinnamon stick: 1 inch
- Curry leaves: 1 sprig
- Green chilies (chopped): 2 tbsps
- Pandan leaves: A bunch
- Coconut (grated): 2 tbsps
- Sri Lankan Curry Powder: 2 tbsps
- Red chili powder: 1 tbsp
- Salt: As per taste
- Pumpkin (diced): 150-200 gms
- Coconut milk: ½ cup
- Water: 1 cup or as required
Kitchen Tools Needed
How to Make the Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry
Got all your kitchen tools and ingredients ready? Here’s what you need to do next to make the curry from scratch.
For the Sri Lankan Curry Powder, start by first dry roasting the basmati rice for about 30 seconds on medium flame.
Next, add all the remaining dry spices to the same pan and dry roast until done.
Keep the mixture aside to cool down and then grind the same into a powder. Store it in an airtight container for future use.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the whole spices along with the curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, and pandan leaves.
Next, add the grated coconut and green chilies and mix well.
Add the pumpkin pieces and saute.
Add the Sri Lankan curry powder, red chili powder, and salt and mix.
Next, add coconut milk and water. Let the curry simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the pumpkin gets cooked. You can add more water if the mixture starts to dry up.
Serve hot with rice or roti or any other carb of your choice.
Frequently Asked Questions
While the Sri Lankan pumpkin curry tastes fantastic on its own, you can still go the extra mile and throw in some more veggies of your choice. Stick to the versatile veggies like zucchini, cauliflower, peas, green beans, tomatoes, and greens like spinach and kale- they work best, and also improve the nutritive value of the curry.
You can also add some soya chunks or tofu into the curry to make it protein-rich.
Coconut milk is actually an important ingredient for this curry. It balances out the heat from the spices and makes the curry thicker and creamier. If you don’t have coconut milk or are just looking for an alternative, you could make do with some coconut cream or fresh cream instead.
Whisked full-fat yogurt is another good option, but it might make your curry slightly tangy in flavor.
Pumpkins are the classic, versatile veggie to work with if you’re planning to make a vegetarian curry. However, if you don’t have pumpkin, you could use butternut squash instead- it is the next best thing you could opt for. If you don’t have either of those, you could use white potatoes or sweet potatoes too.
Remember that the cooking time for each of these veggies is different, so you might need to tweak it accordingly.
The authentic Sri Lankan curry powder might take a few minutes to make, but it is totally worth your time. You can actually batch make it and store the remaining curry powder in the refrigerator. That way, you’ll always have it ready for when you need to whip up a quick curry.
While you can always use any other curry powder for this recipe, the Sri Lankan-style curry powder lends the curry a more robust flavor.
Your leftover Sri Lankan pumpkin curry can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Remember to use an airtight container and reheat the curry on low heat to keep the pumpkin from turning mushy.
Tips to Make the Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry
Got everything you need to make the curry from scratch? You might want to keep these additional tips and tricks in mind to nail the recipe.
- Want to thicken your curry and lend it an even more creamy and rich flavor? You can lightly toast some desiccated coconut in a pan and add it to the curry.
- When cutting the pumpkin, make sure they are all roughly the same size, so that they are perfectly cooked.
- While you can always remove the skin from the pumpkin, keeping the skin on can help the pumpkin pieces hold their shape even after they’ve been cooked, and will keep them from falling apart in the curry.
- To lend some extra deliciousness and flavor to the curry, you can add some chopped or minced garlic into the oil, let it soften a bit, and then follow the rest of the recipe as is.
Serving Ideas & Suggestions
Your flavor-packed Sri Lankan pumpkin curry tastes great when you serve it with some roti (Sri Lankan pol roti is exceptionally amazing) or some steamed rice. If you want some extra spiciness and flavor, you can serve it with some spicy lemon rice. Another great idea is to serve it with another curry to make it a complete feast- you can stick to a vegetarian curry like a mushroom curry or go for a non-vegetarian version like this chicken jalfrezi.
Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry
Ingredients for the Sri Lankan Curry Powder
Ingredients for the Pumpkin curry
- 2 tsp Oil
- 1 tsp Mustard seeds
- 1 tsp Cumin seeds
- ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds
- 1 inch Cinnamon stick
- 1 sprig Curry leaves
- 2 tsp Green chilies (chopped)
- 1 bunch Pandan leaves
- 2 tsp Coconut (grated)
- 2 tsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder
- 1 tsp Red chili powder
- As per taste Salt
- 150-200 gms Pumpkin (diced)
- ½ cup Coconut milk
- 1 cup Water
- For the Sri Lankan Curry Powder, start by first dry roasting the basmati rice for about 30 seconds on mediumflame.2 tsp Basmati rice
- Next, add all the remaining dry spices to the same pan and dry roast until done.3-4 pcs Dry red chilies, 1 tsp Mustard seeds, 2 tsp Coriander seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds, 2 tsp Fennel seeds, 5-6 pcs Cloves, 3 tsp Black pepper
- Keep the mixture aside to cooldown and then grind the same into a powder. Store it in an airtight container for future use.
- Heat oil in a pan. Add the wholespices along with the curry leaves, fenugreek seeds, and pandan leaves.2 tsp Oil, 1 tsp Mustard seeds, 1 tsp Cumin seeds, ½ tsp Fenugreek seeds, 1 inch Cinnamon stick, 1 sprig Curry leaves, 1 bunch Pandan leaves
- Next, add the grated coconut and green chilies and mix well.2 tsp Coconut, 2 tsp Green chilies
- Add the pumpkin pieces and saute.
- Add the Sri Lankan curry powder, red chili powder, and salt and mix.2 tsp Sri Lankan Curry Powder, 1 tsp Red chili powder, As per taste Salt
- Next, add the coconut milk and water. Let the curry simmer for 5-8 minutes or until the pumpkin gets cooked. You can add more water if the mixture starts ro dry up.150-200 gms Pumpkin, ½ cup Coconut milk, 1 cup Water
- Serve hot with rice or roti or anyother carb of your choice.