After a great roadtrip through the US (and getting married in Las Vegas by the way ;), I am also happy to be home again! And happy to cook and shoot and blog again! I had my laptop and my camera with me on tour and really wanted to blog while on tour, but my blog was not working. I simply could not login to the backend for 3 weeks. Finally, back home, I had the time to fix it, so here we go…! My newest recipe: hot and spicy pumpkin curry with roasted walnuts, plums and pears. (Go directly to recipe!)
This is not a typical Austrian or Viennese dish, as the word “curry” may already indicate, but the main ingrediences are all in season in Austria at the moment. (So there’s plenty of plums and pears and pumpkins, and walnut harvest is also starting…)
I make this curry from time to time, and I always make it a bit different, totally depending on what my fridge and stock has to offer. This was the first time I used roasted walnuts, and I was overwhelmed!
You can also add meat, pork fits really well. You then would need to cut it into smaller pieces an put in the pan after you roasted the onions, garlic and ginger. When the meat is ready cooked, you can add the pumpkin and other fruits. I mostly eat it with rice as a side, but bread like naan or pita is also delicious.
Here I will give you a short overview of the ingredients, and their possible alternatives/substitutes:
Overview of ingredients / alternatives to use:
- First of all, I always use onion, garlic and fresh ginger, and I use lots of them!! No, wait, what I really meant was…
L O T S!!!
- The walnuts can easily be replaced by any other kind of nuts like almonds, cashew, pecan nuts,…
Usually they are roasted without any (or very little) oil, so you have to be very careful not to burn them. You stir for the whole time, until they smell kind of burnt (but are not!). The roasting adds a delicious “smokey” taste. They are the best part of the curry!
- The pumpkin can be replaced with potatoes or sweet potatoes too, then it sadly will be no pumpkin curry anymore, but will be equally delicious.
- The fruits I used (plum and pear) are not absolutely necessary either, they add an interesting sweet-sour nuance, but you should only use very little of them, so the whole thing does not become too sour.
- Furthermore, you can replace the raisins with cranberries.
- I usually use the following spices: cumin, fresh chili, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, curcuma. To me, the absolute necessary ones of them are curcuma, cumin and cinnamon. The chilies are only a “must”, if you like it hot (like me). The cardamom adds some “fresh” taste but is not absolutely necessary to the overall taste…
- This time I added Styrian Scarlet Runner Beans, but I think, lentils or peas are a better fit. You can also try it out with chickpeas (but I think they taste a bit boring with this curry).
- Finally, you really have to add the spices right in the beginning (see recipe), as the mixture of flavors does develop over time. So you want the spices to cook longer, but also do not want the pumkin to be overcooked… understand?
- Last but not least: use plastic gloves with the chilies! That aint no joke! (I wear conatct lenses and have a few painful stories to tell about not using gloves and cutting chilies…)
So then…Let’s go!
Here is the recipe for my spicy pumpkin curry :
Spicy pumpkin curry with roasted walnuts
- 250 g pumpkin ~9 oz / ~0.6 lb
- 250 g cooked beans 100g dried; ~9oz canned/3.5oz dried; ~0.6lb/0.3lb
- 2 plums
- 1 pear
- 1 small onion
- 3-4 cloves garlic at least
- 2-3 tsp. fresh ginger at least
- 2-3 tbsp. oil for roasting the onions
- 1-2 handful walnuts
- 1-2 tbsp. raisins or cranberries
- 250 ml vegetable stock ~1 US cup / ~8.5 fl ozs
- 1-2 red hot chili peppers I love them! (and the band too!)
- 2-3 tsp. curcuma (turmeric)
- 1-2 tsp. cinnamon grated (or 1 stick)
- 1-2 tsp. cumin grated
- 2 cloves
- 1-2 tsp. cardamom
- 2 tsp. honey
- Chop small the onion, garlic, ginger and also cut the pumpkin, plums and pears into pieces. (not too small, otherwise they get overcooked too soon) Slice the chilies into large pieces (use plastic gloves!)
- Chop the walnuts into smaller pieces. Heat up a pan and roast the nuts on high to medium heat, stirring constantly to avoid burning. Eventually add a few drops of oil. (Depends on the quality of your pan)
- when the nuts smell slightly burnt and smokey, put them aside. (get them out of the pan!)
- Add some oil to the pan (1-2 tbsp.) and roast the onion until slightly brown, then add the chopped garlic and ginger.
- After a few minutes on medium heat, add all of the spices and the chilies and roast them for 1-2 minutes. (If you use cinnamon sticks instead of grated one, add it only later, when the soup is already poured.)
- Pour the soup. When hot, add the honey.
- Add the pumpkin, let simmer for a few minutes. (Now it's time to taste the liquid, does it need more salt? more curcuma?)
- Add the plums, pears and raisins, let simmer for another few minutes, until the pumpkin is soft. Eventually add some more soup or water.
- The longer it cooks, the better it tastes, but watch out that the pumpkin does not get too soft.
- Serve with the roasted walnuts as topping.