Vietnamese Sweet Potato Pumpkin Curry

Vietnamese Sweet Potato Pumpkin Curry via

When I’m not eating sushi, my take-away of choice has to be Vietnamese. And 9 times out of 10, I’ll order the Buddhist sweet potato pumpkin curry.

I tried recreating my local restaurant’s curry a few times but didn’t get it quite right. The sauce should be velvety and thick but never gloopy. After a few failed attempts I hit on the idea of pureeing some of the pumpkin to thicken the sauce. Together with the coconut cream, the pumpkin puree creates a deliciously rich sauce which is fabulous atop of plain boiled rice.

This a mild curry. I used the madras style curry powder I received from my Secret Santa and it was spot on. Aromatic but not too spicy. If you can’t find wood ear mushrooms (attractively labelled “black fungus” in my local oriental supermarket), I wouldn’t suggest substituting regular mushrooms. Rather add some blanched green beans for a similar, slightly crunchy texture. Wedges of ripe tomato are also a nice addition for added freshness.

I am dedicating this post to my good friend Kate who asked me for a veggie curry recipe to warm her up during a chilly Swedish winter. Kate, this one’s for you:

Vietnamese sweet potato pumpkin curry

Vietnamese Sweet Potato Pumpkin Curry via

(Serves 4)

For the curry sauce:

  • knob of butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp good quality mild curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 500g pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 1/2 can coconut cream

To finish the curry:

  • 250g pumpkin, peeled and cubed and boiled/microwaved till just tender
  • 250g sweet potato, peeled and cubed and boiled/microwaved till just tender
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced and boiled for 2 minutes
  • 2 tbsp fresh or frozen peas, boiled for 2 minutes
  • small handful dried chinese wood ear mushrooms, rehydrated in freshly boiled water for 5 minutes
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice

1.  Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and sweat until soft and translucent. Add the ginger, garlic, curry powder and turmeric and cook for a couple of minutes.

2.  Add the pumpkin then pour in the stock and coconut cream. Bring to the boil and simmer gently, partially covered, for about 20 minutes, until the squash is soft – you should be able to mash it easily against the side of the pan with the back of a wooden spoon.

3.  Whiz in a blender (or use a stick blender to purée it in the pan) until very smooth. If the sauce is too thin, return it to the hob for a little while to reduce. If time allows, leave the sauce to cool and thicken before reheating with the vegetables.

4.  Return the sauce to the hob and add the vegetables. Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables are warmed through. Remove from the heat and add the lime juice. Serve over plain boiled rice.


  1. Ang

    I love a good vegetable curry but have never tried sweet potato in one. Will also have to keep an eye out for black fungus – that is a new one to me.

  2. I have never had one of these, but I like the sound of it very much indeed – can I use butternut squash as a sub for pumpkin as that is the only one we get in the green grocer ?

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