Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin with Toasted Coconut Curry

Recipe: Spiced Pumpkin with Toasted Coconut Curry

How to take pumpkin curry to a whole other level? Add toasted coconut

 Gaya  on 18 Feb '21

Pumpkin erissery is a traditional dish in Kerala. It's typically served during Onam sadya, a feast of vegetarian dishes to celebrate Kerala’s harvest festival, Onam. So, in keeping with tradition, the best way to enjoy this dish is with a variety of other vegetarian dishes all served on banana leaves, because who doesn’t love an environmentally friendly meal?

Serves: 4

Total prep & cooking time: 50 minutes


  • ½ cup red beans, soaked overnight
  • 1 small pumpkin
  • ¼ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder
  • salt, to taste

For the coconut paste:

  • ¾ cup grated coconut
  • 1 fresh green chilli
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp chilli powder

For tempering:

  • ¾ tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 2 dried red chillies
  • 2 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1½ tbsp coconut oil


  1. Put the soaked red beans in a pressure cooker with 1½ cups water and salt and cook for approximately three whistles. Once cooked, drain and set aside.
  2. Clean the pumpkin, then peel and chop into cubes.
  3. Add the pumpkin cubes and 1 cup water to a pot. Then add the turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Cover and cook on low for approximately 12–15 minutes. While cooking, stir occasionally and check if there is sufficient water. If it’s too dry, add more water and continue cooking.
  4. To make the coconut paste, grind the grated coconut, green chilli, cumin seeds, chilli powder and ½ cup water until a smooth paste forms.
  5. Add the coconut paste to the pumpkin mixture. Then add in the cooked red beans. If the consistency is too thick, add ½ cup more water. Stir well. Remove from the heat and cover with a lid.
  6. For tempering, in a small pan on low heat, heat the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds.
  7. Add the curry leaves and dried chillies. Fry until the curry leaves become crisp and the chillies change colour.
  8. Add the grated coconut and sauté till golden brown, ensuring that the coconut doesn’t burn.
  9. Add the tempering mixture to the pumpkin curry and mix well. Serve with rice.

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Foodie with a spice infatuation. Rediscovering the taste of traditional Kerala