Pumpkin & cashew nuts in a creamy coconut curry

by Monisha Bharadwaj

An easy winter curry from Monisha Bharadwaj


For the ginger-garlic paste:
1 part fresh ginger, skin scraped off and flesh chopped
2 parts garlic, peeled and chopped (by volume)

For the curry:
2 tsp sunflower oil
2 tsp ginger-garlic paste
2 fresh green chillies, finely chopped (seeds and all)
10 fresh or 15 dried curry leaves, chopped or crumbled
1 tsp ground turmeric
200ml passata
400g deseeded pumpkin, chopped into small cubes with the skin left on
400ml coconut milk
15 unsalted cashew nuts


First, make the ginger-garlic paste. Combine the ginger and garlic. If you are making a small amount, you can grate both or crush them using a pestle and mortar. You don’t need to discard the green ‘soul’ from the centre of the garlic; it is edible and any bitterness it has will add to the balance of flavours in the overall dish. If making a larger amount, blitz the peeled and chopped ginger and garlic in a blender, along with a little cold water to turn the blades and make a smooth paste.

You can store this paste in the fridge or freezer. Put it into a clean jam jar, top it up with oil (any cooking oil) and put it in the fridge. It will keep in the fridge for up to 3 weeks. You will find that the oil layer may decrease with each scoop of paste used—just top it up as necessary.

To freeze the paste, either put it into ice cube trays, cover it with clingfilm and store in the freezer for up to 3 months, or put it into a freezer bag, lay this on a metal tray and freeze it flat. It becomes quite brittle and you can snap off as much as you need for each recipe. While ginger-garlic cubes need thawing, the bits broken off from a flat sheet can be added directly to the pan.

Heat the sunflower oil in a medium saucepan. Stir in the ginger-garlic paste and chillies and cook on a high heat for 2 mins. Add the curry leaves and cook for 1 min, then add the turmeric and cook for a few secs. Add the passata and cook for 3-4 mins, until everything is well blended.

Tip in the pumpkin, season with salt and then pour in 150ml boiling water. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, cover and cook for 7-8 mins until the pumpkin is nearly tender, adding a few tbsp cold water if the pan starts to dry out.

Pour in the coconut milk, then stir in the cashews. Cook on a medium heat until the curry comes to the boil.

Recipe: Monisha Bharadwaj from Indian in Seven (Kyle Books)