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Coconut Beef Curry in a Pumpkin


When R told me he was inviting some classmates over to work on a project after school, I knew they would be ravenous at some point in the evening. But, as it was the middle of the week, I also knew that I didn't have a lot of time to make dinner when I got home from work. So, I picked a meal that I could do mostly ahead of time and just heat up for serving. 

The carrots, celery, and zucchini additions are not traditional, but I wanted more veggies in the dinner. And I figured that serving in a pumpkin was a kinda cool thing to do! 

Ingredients makes one curry-filled pumpkin 
(I doubled it for my hungry crew)

Coconut Beef Curry
  • 2 lbs beef, cut into bite-sized cubes
  • freshly ground salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1/2 t ground turmeric
  • 6 T unsalted butter, cut into 2 T chunks
  • 1 large onion, peeled and diced (approximately 1-1/2 C)
  • 1 C diced carrots
  • 1 C diced celery
  • 1 T grated ginger
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 T garam masala (my homemade version included in this recipe)
  • 1 t chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3” stick cinnamon
  • 1 C tomato sauce
  • 1 C chicken stock
  • 1 T chili paste (optional)
  • 1 C cubed zucchini
  • 1 C coconut cream

Pumpkin
  • 1 organic pumpkin, cleaned with seeds reserved for another use
  • 1/2 C white wine or water
  • Also needed: heavy baking sheet

For Serving
  • steamed rice

Procedure
Pumpkin
If you are doing this ahead of time, bake the pumpkin, then let it cool and refrigerate it until you're ready to finish making the dish.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut off the top and scoop out the seeds. Set the seeds aside for a different recipe. Place the pumpkin on a heavy baking sheet and pour 1/2 C liquid in the bottom. I used leftover white wine, but you can use whatever you have on hand. 


Put the pumpkin in the oven and roast for 45 minutes. The pumpkin should be slightly softened but holding its shape. 

Coconut Beef Curry
In a large mixing bowl, massage the salt, pepper, 1 t chili powder, and turmeric into the beef cubes. Let stand for 15 minutes.

In a large pot, cook the onions, carrots, celery, ginger, and garlic in 3 T butter until softened and the onions begin to turn translucent. Add in the remaining butter and melt. Stir in the garam masala, chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon stick. Cook until fragrant.

Add the beef to the spiced paste and brown until cooked through, approximately 10 to 12 minutes. Pour in the tomato sauce and chicken stock. Add in the chili paste, if using. Whisk to combine. Stir in the zucchini. Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes - until the sauce is beginning to thicken. Pour in the coconut cream, whisk to combine, and simmer until that is thickened to your liking.

To Finish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Pour out the wine from the pumpkin and fill it with your curry. Place the lid back on your pumpkin and place it in the oven. Roast for an additional 30 minutes. The pumpkin flesh should be easily pierced with a fork.


Serve hot with steamed rice on the side. Let diners know they can scoop out some of the pumpkin flesh with their dinner. The pumpkin added a nice sweetness to the spicy dish.


I paired this with a Pét-Nat from Donkey & Goat for December's #WinePW event. Stay tuned for those tasting notes and thoughts.

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