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Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry

This is the perfect recipe to use up all those leftover pumpkins after halloween!

By Milan Perera, Second Year, English Literature

This is the perfect recipe to use up all those leftover pumpkins after halloween!

It’s that time of the year again when carved golden pumpkins stare at you from front gardens with their menacing grin as you walk by. After helping to create that spooky spectacle for Halloween, this fine vegetable is gathered into bins to rot for no good reason. Looking for a quick recipe to use up those unloved pumpkins? Here is my go to recipe: Sri Lankan pumpkin curry. Sri Lankan curries are characterised by the delicious creaminess of coconut milk, augmented with a rich palette of aromatic spices and rounded off with the nuttiness of desiccated coconut; this recipe is no different. Here is the quick rundown:

Approximate cooking time – 30 minutes.

Serves 4


450g pumpkin

2 tbsp oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

10 curry leaves (approximately)

1 green chili, sliced

1 stick of cinnamon

1 tsp ginger and garlic paste

1/2 tsp of chilli powder

1/2 tsp of turmeric powder

1/2 tsp of cumin powder

1/2 tsp of curry powder

¾ tin of canned coconut milk

1/2 cup of water

3/4 tsp of rock salt

Desiccated coconut flakes

Cashews, roasted

Bunch of fresh parsley

Pumpkin Curry ingredients The Croft / Milan Perera


1) Wash the pumpkin, then cut it into similar-sized cubes by cutting into 2x1-inch wedges or cutting them in half again for 1x1-inch pieces. Make sure to leave the skin on so that they maintain their shape and don’t turn into a pumpkin puree as they simmer!

2) Heat a pan and add oil.

3) When the oil starts to spit, add the sliced onion, mustard seeds, curry leaves and the cinnamon stick (be careful not to burn yourself on the hot oil!).

4) Gently fry the mixture until the sliced onion turns soft and translucent then add the garlic and ginger paste and let it cook for another minute.

5) Add the cubed pumpkins followed by the curry powder, chilli, turmeric, and cumin. Stir gently, enabling the pumpkin pieces to soak up the spice mixture.

6) Now it is time to bring the star ingredient to the mix: coconut milk. Add ½ tin of coconut milk, green chilli, salt, and water and bring to the boil.

7) Close the lid,  lower the heat to medium and let it simmer for a further 15 minutes.

8) Add the remaining ¼ can of coconut milk, reduce the heat to low and cook for 5 more minutes.

9) Add the desiccated coconut flakes and cashews and stir into the mix before garnishing with fresh parsley.

Serve with rice, flat bread, or Sri Lankan coconut roti.

Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry The Croft / Milan Perera

This is truly indulgence in a bowl whilst also being vegan, gluten-free, and dairy-free!

featured image: Milan Perera

What spooky face will you be carving this year?