Fall has officially arrived in the CaliGirl Cooking household!
Seeing as Santa Barbara doesn’t see “fall-ish” weather until well into the month of October, it sometimes takes us a bit to get into cooking all of the fall things. One doesn’t necessarily want to be roasting squash or drinking warm pumpkin spice lattes when it’s over 80 degrees out!
But I’m happy to report that on Sunday night we got our first rain of the season, and now I’m officially ready to start gobbling up enough orange-hued foods to turn my skin a funny color in the next two to three months, like this Pumpkin Curry Hummus and these Butternut Squash Crostini with Crispy Prosciutto and Sage. But what do you say we kick off the binge with this Double Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp?
I can’t think of any other way I’d rather get my daily intake of beta-carotene and Vitamin A than in the form of this incredibly tasty one-pot meal. And really, I’m just the hugest fan of curry and can’t seem to get enough. It’s so healthy, yet so warm and comforting, the perfect cool weather dish. It’s also pretty darn quick and easy, so you really have no excuse not to make it for dinner tonight.
I made this last Friday and we proceeded to eat it alllll weekend. Which brings me to another bonus of this Double Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp: it reheats so well! Make a batch tonight and enjoy it for the next couple of days. If my experience is any indication, you won’t be able to get enough.
The hubs and I are going to be living on easy weeknight meals such as this for the next couple of weeks. It seems that the madness of the holidays has already started for us, and we’re traveling or otherwise busy just about every weekend from here until after the New Year.
This weekend, we’re headed to Napa for one of our multiple-times-a-year trips. We try to get up there every few months, and are so lucky that we have plenty of friends up there to visit and stay with. This year we wanted to make sure we got up there during harvest, so we squeezed it in to our already incredibly busy schedule. We’ve already gotten some great recommendations from our friends up in the area, but feel free to comment below with any places you think are can’t-miss!
After Napa this weekend, I’ll be back home for just a few days before turning around and heading back to the Bay Area to fly out to Oahu with my dad. We’re taking a little father-daughter food research trip and I couldn’t be more excited! I’ll be planning out our exact itinerary in the next few days (we got a lot of great recommendations from my cousin who lives there) but, again, if anyone has any great recommendations, please share! Even though I lived there for a few years right after college, it seems like there are a TON of new places that have sprung up since then that we cannot miss.
But let’s get back to this Double Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp, because it certainly needs its fair share of time in the spotlight. I once had a similar pumpkin curry at a cute little hole-in-the-wall Thai restaurant in Los Gatos, and have not stopped thinking about it ever since. The most memorable thing about it? Well, not only did it taste absolutely phenomenal, it was also served in a hollowed out roasted pumpkin! It was so amazing. Every time you scooped some of the curry out, you got some of the creamy, roasted pumpkin flesh with it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Now, I haven’t been to said Thai restaurant in quite a while, but I dare say that this Double Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp is so darn close to the real thing. I’m actually pretty disappointed that we finished our leftovers already because I could REALLY go for some for lunch right now.
So what makes this a DOUBLE Pumpkin Shrimp with Curry, you ask? Well, not only do we stir an entire jar of canned pumpkin into the mix, but we also add some cubed, whole pumpkin. If you don’t like pumpkin, I’m sorry, this dish is probably not for you.
We’re using a combo chicken broth and coconut milk for the base, and throwing in some shrimp for good measure. But hey, guess what? Want to make this dish vegetarian or vegan? Easy peasy. Simply use vegetable broth instead of the chicken broth and omit the shrimp. Never been simpler.
So, we throw most of the ingredients (save the shrimp for the last minute) into the pot, and add a healthy dose of curry powder. While that’s all simmering away, we get a second pumpkin (I used “pie pumpkins” from Trader Joe’s), remove the top and scoop out the seeds. Roast that in the oven and about 25 minutes later your serving vessel will be ready to rock and roll!
Finally, per my dad’s suggestion (because father always knows best), we make a “cheater’s roux” to stir in to the mix to get the curry nice and thickened up. Traditionalists gonna hate, but to make the “cheater’s roux,” all you have to do is melt the butter in the microwave and then whisk in an equal amount of flour. You’re welcome for that little nugget of wisdom (we’ll save the real roux for our Creole cooking.)
That’s it! This uber-delicious and incredibly aromatic Double Pumpkin Curry with Shrimp is ready in just about as much time as it will take you to roast the pumpkin you’re going to serve it in. Of course, you don’t HAVE to serve it this way, but I highly recommend you give it a shot at least once. I don’t think you’ll be sorry.
Happy hump-day friends! May your day be bright and your curry be tummy-warming 🙂
An aromatic, warming curry featuring both pureed and fresh pumpkin and fresh shrimp, perfect for the cool fall weather.
- 2 tablespoons olive (or coconut) oil
- ½ large yellow onion, diced
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small pie pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cubed
- 4 teaspoons madras curry powder
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne
- 2 small (or 1 large) tomatoes, diced
- 1 15-ounce can pumpkin
- 2 cups chicken (or vegetable) broth
- 1 14-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk
- 10 ounces raw shrimp, tails removed
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons flour
- In a Dutch oven, warm olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until mixture begins to turn translucent and becomes fragrant, about 3-5 minutes. Add cubed pumpkin, curry powder, cayenne and diced tomatoes, stir to combine and let cook for an additional 5 minutes over medium-high heat.
- Add canned pumpkin, broth and coconut milk to mixture. Stir to combine and bring to a heavy simmer. Add shrimp and continue to simmer for at least 8-10 minutes more, or until shrimp turns pink and opaque.
- While curry is simmering, make your roux. In a small microwave safe dish, melt butter, then whisk in the flour. Add to curry and stir to thicken. The mixture will continue to get thicker the longer it sits.
- Serve immediately or let simmer on very low heat until ready to serve.
To make the pumpkin serving vessel: Cut the top off of a medium pie pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Drizzle one to two tablespoons of olive oil inside the pumpkin and roast in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes, or until it feels tender enough to scoop out with a spoon or fork. Ladle finished curry into pumpkin before serving. You could also use a few small pie pumpkins to make individual servings.
Wine Pairing Note: This curry has a little bit of spice, so a fragrant varietal such as Riesling or Gewurtztraminer would be a perfect pairing for the dish. These tend to have a touch of sweetness to them, which will help balance out the spice.
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Pumpkin for dayzzzzz.