Recipe: Pumpkin & Chickpea Curry (South Indian Style)

Recipe: Pumpkin & Chickpea Curry (South Indian Style)

This vegan-friendly curry is flavourful, wholesome and aromatic in equal proportions. Coconut milk, peppercorns and curry leaves give it a delicious South Indian twist.



250 gm cooked chickpeas (if using raw chickpeas, soak overnight and then boil in a cauldron of hot water until cooked)
250 gm pumpkin, chopped into biggish chunks (leave the skin on, chopping off any damaged parts)
1 medium sized onion, thickly sliced
3-4 tomatoes, thickly sliced
1 cup coconut milk
10-15 curry leaves
2-inch piece of ginger
2-3 green chillies, slit sideways
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 green cardamoms

1 medium-sized bay leaf
1 teaspoon cumin powder (freshly ground or crushed is best)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
2 tablespoons vegetable or peanut oil
1-2 cups water
1 bunch coriander
Salt to taste


1. Separate out the coriander leaves from the stalks. Finely chop each separately and keep aside.

2. Grind/crush together the peppercorns, ginger and cardamom (I like to do it by hand in a mortar and pestle but you could use an electric grinder too)

3. In a large pan, heat the oil on medium flame. Once hot, add in the bay leaf and then the sliced onion. Stir for 2 minutes and then add in the curry leaves. Stir on medium-low flame until onions become translucent.

4. Add in the crushed ginger, cardamom and peppercorns. Stir continuously for 1 minute to avoid it sticking to the pan.

5. Then add in the pumpkin, cumin powder and turmeric powder. Add salt to taste. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

6. Add in the tomatoes, slit chillies and the chopped coriander stalks. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes on low-medium flame (until the pumpkin is cooked). You may need to stir a couple of times. Add a tiny bit of water if the mixture is sticking.

7. Add in the chickpeas (along with any water they were boiled in). Mix together well.

8. Turn the flame low. Add in the coconut milk. (I like to add one of the chillies at this stage so it retains a more fresh flavour). Add 1-2 cups water (as needed) to make a gravy/curry. (tip: it’s better to add water that is warm or hot else it will cool down the whole curry).

9. Cover and cook for about 5 minutes until all is well blended.

10. Turn off the flame. Add the chopped coriander leaves and stir well. Cover and leave to rest for 5 minutes.

11. Serve with rice (alternatively, couscous).



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