Sri Lankan Organic Pumpkin Curry ( Vattakka Curry)

Posted by Dinesh Perera on October 30, 2014 (4 Comments)

In keeping with the theme of Halloween and Thanksgiving, this delicious pumpkin curry can be made with any squash except the spaghetti squash, which is too stringy! You can even use the traditional pumpkin that we carve, but it's probably not safe after it's been laying around on your doorstep for a few days. For this recipe, I'm using an organic Fairytale Pumpkin which I purchased from Mesa Produce in Santa Barbara.

Recipe provides for 6 servings


1 pound pumpkin peeled, seeded and cut into 2 inch cubes and rinsed

2 to 3 tbs of coconut oil, ghee or canola oil

1 small onion or 3 to 4 shallots finely chopped

1 sprig Curry Leaves ( about 10 leaves )

2 cloves Garlic chopped

3 fresh Serrano peppers seeded and chopped

2-3  1" pieces Pandan leaves

1/2 tsp Fenugreek seeds

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder

2 inch piece Ceylon Cinnamon

2 tsp Maldive fish or dried prawns ( optional )

1 tsp salt

1 cup coconut milk diluted in 1/4 cup water

1/2 cup coconut milk

1 tsp black or brown Mustard seed, ground


Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and cut into approximately 2 inch cubes. Rinse and drain. This process is made easier if you cut the pumpkin in half first, then along the grooves from top to bottom. Then peel away the skin using a potato peeler.

Add all the ingredients except the 1/2 cup coconut milk and mustard seeds into a 4 quart saucepan, bring to a slow simmer and cook uncovered. Continue to simmer gently until the pumpkin is almost tender but not fully cooked. You can check this by gently piercing the flesh with a fork.

While the pumpkin is being cooked, grind the mustard seed in a spice mill, combine with the 1/2 cup coconut milk and add to the simmering curry. Continue to gently simmer for 5 mins. Remove from heat and serve.

Serve with white rice.

Feeling Adventurous? Take this extra step and add another level of flavor: Roast 2 tbs raw white rice, 2 tbs of shredded coconut or dessicated unsweetened coconut, dry roast in a pan, combine with the 1/2 cup coconut milk and add to the simmering curry and gently simmer for 5 minutes before removing from the heat.

Comments (4 Comments)

where can i find the curry leaves and the pandan leaves????

Posted by mireya on November 05, 2014

What a brilliant idea to couple the Vatakka with the theme of Haloween and Thanksgiving. The curry itself was equally fantastic as always all your curries I have tried. Thanks Dinesh for this Vatakka curry. I will definitely try it with the other squash as well.

Ottawa, Canada

Posted by Vinitha on November 06, 2014

Pandan leaves can be found in the freezer section in most oriental stores.

Posted by Dinesh, The Spicy gourmet on November 21, 2014

Curry leaves are available at Indian grocery stores.

Posted by Dinesh, The Spicy gourmet on November 21, 2014

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