Chicken, pumpkin and cashew curry

Chicken, pumpkin and cashew curry

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If you like spice and pumpkin, you will love this!

Ingredients (Serves 4 to 6)

  • 3 tbsp ghee (or vegetable oil)
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 cm piece of ginger
  • 10 to 15 curry leaves (optional)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves
  • 1 bunch of coriander, leaves picked and roots and stalks reserved
  • 1 lemongrass stem, white part only
  • 1 × 1.6 kg chicken, cut into 10 to 12 pieces, skin on and bones in
  • 200 ml coconut milk (or coconut cream)
  • 500 g peeled and deseeded pumpkin, cut into 5 cm dice
  • 400 g can diced tomatoes
  • 100 g roasted cashews
  • 1 heaped tsp salt flakes

Curry powder

  • 75 g coriander seeds
  • 50 g cumin seeds
  • 8 green cardamom pods
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 4 cloves
  • 6 black peppercorns
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 to 2 dried chillies
  • ½ tsp Kashmiri chilli powder* (optional)


For the curry powder, toast the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and cloves in a dry frying pan until fragrant and lightly coloured.

Tip the spices into a blender or spice grinder with the remaining curry powder ingredients and process to a fine powder.

Place a large saucepan over medium heat, add the ghee and fry the onion until it’s just turning golden. Add the curry powder and cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring frequently to ensure the spices don’t burn.

Meanwhile, place the garlic, ginger, curry leaves, lime leaves, coriander roots and stalks, and lemongrass in a blender and blitz to a paste.

Add the paste to the pan and fry for a few minutes until fragrant. Add the chicken, coconut milk, pumpkin, tomatoes, cashews, salt and half the coriander leaves. Slowly simmer over low heat for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sprinkle with the remaining coriander leaves and serve with steamed rice.

* Kashmiri chillies are generally used to add a lovely red colour to a dish; they are quite mild and are available from Indian spice shops. A tablespoon of tomato paste can be used instead – just add it to the saucepan at the same time as the curry powder.

Recipe by Mark LaBrooy.

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