Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Pumpkin

The sweetness from kabocha pumpkin coupled with the spiciness of the red curry paste and the saltiness of the fish sauce,  is the perfect substitute for yellow curry. There is a wonderful fragrant flavour that brings the curry to a whole new level beyond a simply thai curry dish. It is a creamy dish because of the added coconut milk which integrates well with Thai flavours.
Ingredients:
1 large kabocha pumpkin
300g of breast meat*, cut into bite sized chunks
1 large handful french beans, cut into small pieces
1 red bell pepper,  diced
2 kaffir lime leaves, torn
6 basil leaves, chopped
1 tbsp canola oil
3 tbsp red thai curry paste
1 (15-oz) can coconut milk
1/4 cup water
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp brown sugar
2 red chilli padi, pierced

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle olive oil on a foil lined sheet tray. Slice kabocha pumpkin, remove seeds, and place cut-side down on the sheet tray. Roast squash halves for about 30 minutes until tender. Remove and let cool completely.
  2. In a large pot or deep pan, heat the canola oil over medium high heat. Stir fry the chicken breast meat till cooked. Add the curry paste and mash into hot oil so all the paste gets incorporated. Then, slowly drizzle in the coconut milk, whisking continuously until all milk has been added and the mixture is consistent.
  3. Add water, torn kaffir lime leaves, basil, fish sauce, brown sugar and red chili padi and bring to a simmer. Then, add red bell peppers and green bean halves and continue simmering sauce for about 15 minutes until vegetables are just cooked but not mushy.
  4. Peel or slice kabocha pumpkin away from peel. Chop into large chunks and add along to the curry sauce.
  5. This dish is best served warm with rice.
*You may change chicken to tofu cut for a vegetarian option.
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5 reasons to include Kabocha pumpkin in your diet

Originally from Japan, Kabocha has an exceptional naturally sweet flavour, even sweeter in taste than butternut squash. It is similar in texture and flavor to a pumpkin and a sweet potato combined. Some kabocha can taste like Russet potatoes. The rind of a kabocha is edible, although, some cooks may peel it to speed up the cooking process, or, to suit their personal taste preferences. Kabocha is commonly utilized in side dishes and soups, or, as a substitute for potato or other squash varieties.

Kabocha is like butternut squash‘s sadly under-appreciated sister. A single cup of Kabocha has forty calories compared to butternut squash’s 60, and has less than half of the carbs of butternut squash (7 grams vs. 16 grams). And, it tastes better… the perfect substitute.

Here’s 5 reasons why you should consider including Kabocha Squash in your diet:

  1. Kabocha squash is an excellent source of beta-carotene, owing to it’s bright orange flesh, which can be converted to vitamin A in the body. Vitamin A is important for healthy white blood cells, good immunity and for vibrant eyes, skin and hair. A single serving of kabocha squash provides 70% of the day’s recommended requirement!
  2. Kabocha is also a good source of iron, vitamin C and some B vitamins. Beta-carotene is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory and is a good source of iron, vitamin C and some B vitamins.
  3. In addition, it contains fiber, which we could all use a little more of. To boost the fiber content even more, cook it with the edible skins on.
  4. Thicken your soups with Kabocha. Simply take a fork to your cooked kabocha and mash it up until you reach your desired consistency.
  5. Kabocha is a dieter’s delight. Make a whole pot of kabocha stew mixed in with other veggies  and eat it for the whole week. You’re bound to drop a few.

Check out this yummy recipe- Thai Red Curry with Kabocha Pumpkin.

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