I think I’ve mentioned recently in another post that Marc and I have been eating a lot less meat over the last six months, and trying to up our vegetable intake (case in point, this Thai Pumpkin Curry). Alongside this, we’re buying less from supermarkets and more from local suppliers where possible. Marc looked into getting a weekly organic fruit and vegetable box, but they seemed to be travelling a fair distance to deliver and having to be around for the delivery put me off. I then came across the Food Assembly, who were in the process of setting up in Ancoats and it seemed like the the perfect solution.
If you haven’t come across it before, the Food Assembly is a platform that puts producers and growers together with customers. You sign up, choose your products and pay online and then you pick them up a couple of days later from a local meeting point. In our case this is Seven Brothers brewhouse, a handy 2 minute walk from home, but there are over 900 of them, so find your nearest Food Assembly here.
Whilst the Ancoats operation is still in the growth phase and a little bit limited for choice at the moment, we’ve had some fantastic cheeses from Pextenement Cheese Company, bread from Ancoats local Companio Bakery and perhaps best of all (I really hate buying plastic wrapped veg that’s come from half way across the world), really fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs from Abbey Leys Farm.
When browsing their products a couple of weeks ago, I couldn’t resist this Crown Prince Squash (I keep calling it a pumpkin, but it’s definitely a squash). As well as being a beauty, Crown Prince Squash are known for being one of the tastiest squash varieties. When it’s roasted, the flesh is full of flavour and fudgey in texture. It tastes to me almost like cake batter.
One of these big squash (or pumpkin) goes a long way. Over a couple of days, we had spice roasted pumpkin with our Sunday lunch, pumpkin soup, pumpkin spiced cake (recipe coming soon) and Thai pumpkin curry, which is the recipe I’m sharing with you today.
We all love Thai curries, it’s that combination of creamy, sweet and spicy flavours. A good Thai curry blends together perfectly, so that all of the flavours sing in harmony. I think this is why squash and pumpkin work so well in a coconut curry, they absorb the creamy broth and the fragrant spice paste and add the right level of sweetness. The Thai curry sweet spot.
This recipe is a bit of a combination of a traditional thai red curry and the Wagamamas Chu Chee curry, which I used to love but they took off their menu a few years ago. As with a lot of Thai dishes, it’s fairly easy to put together and is fresh and delicious. This version is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans but you can easily add meat or seafood if you fancy. Just cook that off separately and stir it in at the last minute.
Thai Pumpkin Curry
Serves 4 with rice
500g pumpkin or squash flesh, peeled and cut into chunks
1 tin of coconut milk
2 teaspoons of Thai red curry paste – I always use Mae Ploy (to taste)
200g sugar snaps or mangetout
1 red pepper, sliced into strips or chunks
1 red chilli, de-seeded and thinly sliced lengthways
A dash of fish sauce (optional, to taste)
1tsp sugar (to taste)
Lime juice (to taste)
A few sprigs of coriander
Thai basil (optional)
- Heat your wok until it’s hot and then add the coconut milk and curry paste, stir it in and let the coconut milk bubble down until you are left with about half of what you started with and it looks thick and rich.
2. Add the water and give it a good stir. Drop in your pumpkin or squash, put a lid on (if you have one) and let the pieces poach in the broth until easily forked. This should take about 15 mins.
3. Add the red pepper and season the curry with fish sauce (if using), sugar and lime juice until you get the right balance of hot, sour and sweet. I like it quite sweet so I might add a little bit of extra sugar. Give it a taste. If you are happy with it, take it off the heat, stir in the sugar snaps or mangetout and thai basil (if using). This keeps the veg crisp.
4. Serve it with white fluffy rice or quinoa, and top with the chilli strips and coriander leaves.