Basically a coconut-rich south-east Asian curry. Vegetarian- and vegan-friendly ‘fish’ sauces are available online, but you can make this with the normal stuff if you prefer.
You can simmer the pumpkin with the sweet potato, but roasting really condenses the flavour
Prep time: 20 minutes | Cooking time: 45 minutes
- 1kg pumpkin or squash
- Groundnut oil, for drizzling and cooking
- 2 x 400g tins coconut cream
- 400ml vegetable stock or water
- 250g sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
- 250g small waxy potatoes, peeled and quartered
- 2 kaffir lime leaves, each torn in two
- 200g sugar snap peas
- 100g baby spinach leaves
- Juice of 1 lime
- 1-2 tsp caster sugar (to taste)
- 15g coriander, leaves only, very roughly chopped
- 2 red chillies, finely sliced (I leave the seeds in)
For the spice and herb paste
- 4 garlic cloves, chopped
- 3 shallots, chopped
- 5cm piece ginger root, peeled and chopped
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn and central rib discarded
- 2 green chillies, chopped (remove the seeds of one if you’re worried about the heat)
- 3 tbsp desiccated coconut
- 30g bunch coriander, stalks and all
- 1 stick lemongrass, white part only, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp ‘fish’ sauce
- 1 tbsp groundnut oil
- Juice of ½ lime
- Preheat the oven to 190C/ 180C fan*/gas mark 5.
- Halve, peel and deseed the pumpkin or squash and cut it into chunks. Spread out the chunks in a single layer in a roasting tin. Drizzle with a little oil, season and toss everything with your hands. Roast for 15 minutes, or until the pieces are soft and slightly caramelised at the edges.
- Meanwhile, make the spice and herb paste by dropping everything for it into a food processor and blitzing it, scraping down the sides a couple of times to ensure everything gets puréed. You’ll end up with a slightly coarse mixture.
- Heat ½ tbsp oil in a large saucepan and sauté the paste over a medium heat, stirring every so often, for about five minutes. Add the coconut cream and stock or water and bring to just under the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Add the potatoes and lime leaves and, again, bring to a simmer. Cook until the vegetables are just tender, then add the pumpkin or squash and cook for another four minutes or so. If serving later, stop now, before you add the greens.
- When you want to serve, cut the sugar snaps lengthways and add them to the pan with the spinach, lime juice and sugar. Simmer for just over a minute. Taste for sweet-sour-salty balance. Stir in some coriander and scatter the rest on the top, with the chillies. Serve with rice.
*Diana’s conversions may differ slightly from the standard