In Thailand, pumpkin is as common as potatoes are in the West. It works very well in curries, because it keeps its shape even after long bouts of high-temperature cooking. but you can use easily substitute it with butternut squash and achieve the same result. This is a hearty dish that I love eating in the colder months.
Serves 2 V 1 tablespoon sunflower oil 2 generous tablespoons Red Curry Paste 400ml (14fl oz) coconut milk 450g (1lb) butternut squash, peeled and diced 3 kaffir lime leaves, roughly chopped 300ml (1/2 pint) Vegetable Stock or water 1 tablespoon palm sugar 2 tablespoons light soy sauce 1 large handful of sweet basil leaves, plus extra to garnish 1/2 long red chilli, thinly sliced, to garnish steamed jasmine rice, to serve
Heat the oil in a wok or saucepan set over a medium heat. As soon as the oil is hot, add the red curry paste and stir for about 1 minute, until smooth and fragrant.
Pour in half the coconut milk, stirring constantly. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the oil from the curry paste separates and rises to the surface. Mix in the remaining coconut milk at this point, then stir in the butternut squash and lime leaves.
Use the empty coconut milk can to transfer the vegetable stock or water to the pan, which allows you to rinse out any remaining coconut cream in the can. Stir in the palm sugar, soy sauce and basil, then leave to bubble gently over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, until the butternut squash is softened to your liking.
Garnish with the sliced chilli and extra basil leaves and serve with rice.
More recipes in Rosa’s Thai Cafe: The Vegetarian Cookbook by Saiphin Moore