vegan hokkaido pumpkin curry with fragrant coconut rice … and an almond martini for dessert

pumpkin season seems to have started again … and as i am very fond of hokkaidos, i have straight away hokaidoed full on with a colourful pumpkin curry (with rice, this seems to be a carby day for me!):

vegan hokkaido pumpkin curry with coconut rice

pumpkincurry

i do like the taste of pumpkin on its own but one can add other vegetables as well, though being a a fan of mono-dishes, i do not find it lacking in taste as it is. use half a hokkaido pumpkin, take the seeds plus the stringy flesh surrounding them out and cut the rest into cubes. the good thing with hokkaido is that you can eat the peel too as it softens when cooking. it is colourful AND tasty!

dice one red onion (or white, whatever you have to hand, red looks nicer), one deseeded fresh chili (red), cut into strings (keep a quarter for garnish) plus one diced clove of garlic and shallow fry those in a tablespoon of coconut oil. add some fleur de sel and dried chili flakes during the shallow frying. do not brown the onions and garlic, they just need to soften. then add about one and a half tablespoons of curry powder (use the brand you like, i think indian style works slightly better here than thai style … but go with your preference. i used a sumatra lemon curry powder which consists of  the following ground ingredients: curcuma, lemon grass, onion, coriander, paprika, ginger, lime, lemon verbena, lemon myrtle, aniseed, chili, fennel, clove and white pepper – the lemony flavour complements the hokaido well) and mix well with a spoon.

add the hokkaido dices and a dash of lime juice and stir fry for a minute so the hokaido is covered well in the curry-onion-chili-garlic-mix. then add about half a can of coconut milk and cover the pot. bring to the boil and let it simmer until the hokkaido is tender but do not overcook, as you will end up with hokkaido mash! stir occasionally while it cooks. at the end, add a tablespoon of chopped coriander leaves (keep some for garnish too).

for the fragrant coconut rice i recently discovered a great and simple recipe, as you only have a hint of coconut! use one part of  basmati or jasmine rice (a small coffeecup will be enough for two servings) and rinse it with water. then soak the rice in two parts of water and a couple of pinches of fleur de sel (go with what you like, some people need more salt) directly in the cooking pot for 15 minutes. after the soaking bring it to the boil in the soaking water and let it boil in the open pan until the rice is not covered by liquid anymore – do stir once or twice while it cooks. once the rice is not covered by liquid anymore, reduce the heat to very low and stir in a teaspoon of coconut oil. put a lid on the pan and let it slightly simmer on the low heat for about 10 minutes. do not open the pan during that time and do not stir anymore as otherwise it will not cook evenly. after 10 minutes on the very low heat, the rice will have soaked up all the liquid and be nice and fluffy with an ever so slight whiff of coconut!

when serving it all together, garnish with some chili flakes, some fresh coriander and some strips of the cut fresh chili. the hokkaido curry should be quite hot and fruity through the lime (as in chili and curry hot, not at a tongueburning temperature!),  but the mellowness of the rice will balance that and make it a ’round’ dish tastewise!

for a great after dinner cocktail, try an almond martini:

almond martini

it is a variation of a hazlenut martini, but is just as delish! put one part each of vodka, amaretto and grand marnier (or triple sec) into a cocktail shaker and shake with ice. strain into a cocktail glass and add one slightly roasted almond (unsalted of course!). it is nutty and sweet and has just the right richness and golden colour to round up a nice meal as a dessert or as an after dinner drink 🙂

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