Warm, spicy, and creamy. This pumpkin coconut curry is the perfect Halloween dish to cozy up with a dog (or cat haha) while watching Harry Potter reruns.
Now you know what kind of Halloweener I am, right? 😉 All about that comfy life.
So yesterday, I announced my three-course Orange and Black dinner menu for Halloween this year!
I shared my first course dish: a spicy spiralized carrots and glass noodle salad with black sesame dressing, topped with seared sesame tofu.
And today, I’m sharing the main dish: kabocha pumpkin coconut curry with spinach and mushrooms over a duo of black bean and black rice noodles.
I just noticed. Both happen to be vegan AND gluten free dishes as well. 😀 I’m not vegetarian nor am I gluten-free, but my diet is largely plant-based, and I just love experimenting with different grains. Many carb sources like rice, corn, legumes are gluten free!
Anyways, I personally love the flavors of pumpkin and curry. Curry is spicy, so it needs some sweetness and creaminess. Pumpkin is sweet and starchy, but it can be quite bland. So I just love the two together.
As for this particular curry, it’s Thai inspired with a coconut undertone. My fav part of cooking this curry is how fast and easy it is to throw together. My secret? Pre-cooked pumpkin! When it’s fall, I turn into this pumpkin addict, and I cook kabocha pumpkin every week by steaming or roasting. So whenever I use it in a recipe, I just mash some up. You can also use canned pumpkin (BPA-free / organic). Both works!
To go along with Orange and Black theme, I served this pumpkin curry on top of black bean and black rice noodles. I buy my black bean noodles (Explore Asia brand) from Whole Foods or Costco, and the black rice noodles (Havista brand) from my local Asian grocery stores. Both are pretty affordable, but if you can’t find them, you could substitute regular (whole grain / brown rice) noodles, steamed brown jasmine rice, or whatever your fancy!
Either way, the star of the dish is definitely the curry. I use a Thai curry paste. When buying Thai curry paste, get one that is free of preservatives. I love the Mae Ploy brand, but you can also use the Thai Kitchen one. The latter is easier to find, but the former is cheaper and can be found in Asian grocery stores.
Oh, and when using coconut milk, it’s not worth getting the “lite” varieties. They’re just coconut milk watered down! So I just use full-fat coconut milk but use less of it.
Anyways, enough blahblahblah. Here is the recipe! 🎃
Kabocha Coconut Tofu Curry | vegan, gluten free
Recipe scaled for one (easily doubled, etc.)
1 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp red curry paste (I love the Mae Ploy brand)
1/2 red or yellow onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh minced ginger
Salt to taste
.5-1 cup water
1/2 cup shimeiji mushrooms (or oyster mushrooms)
3 oz firm tofu, chopped into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 cup cooked pumpkin puree (canned is fine)
2-3 tbsp coconut milk (full-fat)
2 cups baby spinach
2 oz pasta (I used a combo of black rice and black bean noodles)
Black sesame seeds
Kabocha pumpkin sliced
First, I’d like to say that cooking (and I’d say baking haha) is all about using your senses. Don’t just follow my recipe to a tee, taste as you go and adjust! And if you want to add in other vegetables like peppers, go for it!
Boil water. Once it’s boiling, season water with salt. Then boil your pasta according to package directions (maybe 12 minutes?).
Meanwhile, prep and chop all your veggies and the tofu. Then, heat a wok on high. Once it’s hot, add in coconut oil, thai curry paste, garlic, ginger. Stir fry until fragrant, like 40 seconds.
Then add in your onions. And the tofu chunks. Season with salt. Cook for a minute or two, then add in some water if it’s drying out.
Add in your mushrooms and pumpkin puree and more water. Simmer until the curry has thickened. TASTE IT. What does it need? More salt? More curry paste? Add what you need. Then, once everything is cooked and reduced, and IT JUST SMELLS FREAKING AMAZING, add in your coconut milk. Add in baby spinach, and just before it wilts, shut the heat off and let the residual heat cook the spinach.
By now, the pasta should be cooked. Drain it.
Plate it up! In the bowl. Pasta. Curry. More pumpkin slices. Basil. Maybe some pumpkin seeds.
Snap a pic. Enjoy and savor. Then, share it with me on Instagram @vivanttang! Tell me, what changes did you make to this recipe to make it your own? ❤ xoxo
Have a Happy and Healthy Halloween! 🎃👻
What movies are you watching on Halloween this year?