Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls - Made from scratch with a real pumpkin! Don't get scared. It isn't that hard and is totally worth the work. Slightly spicy and sweet, this is the curry recipe you need in the fall!

Real Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls

Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls made from scratch with a real pumpkin! Skip the puree and you'll be well-rewarded. Don't worry. It isn't even that hard!


Real Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls

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Tomorrow is the official beginning of ALL PUMPKIN EVERYTHING season. People get a wee bit crazy with the pumpkin.

The weird part though is that while people love pumpkin, very few people are willing to use an actual pumpkin for anything other than carving faces into.

If you think about it, it’s kind of crazy. While we use pumpkins to carve, the rest of the world is like, “Umm…. that’s food.”

Then we eat a ton of pumpkin flavored things instead of just using the pumpkins for food like the rest of the world.

In most recipes, I actually think pureed pumpkin is a just fine compromise. But, this recipe requires a real pumpkin. Trust me, you’ll be well-rewarded with a savory pumpkin curry that will rock your festive fall socks off.

pumpkin curry

Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls

Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls made from scratch with a real pumpkin! Skip the puree and you’ll be well-rewarded. Don’t worry. It isn’t even that hard!
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Prep Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Dishes
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 Servings
Yield About 4 Bowls


  • 1 medium pie pumpkin roasted
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2-3 tablespoons red curry paste
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • ½ cup water opt.
  • Rice for serving
  • Cilantro garnish
  • Cashews garnish


  • Cut a 3lb (approx) pie pumpkin in half down the center. Poke some holes in the flesh and roast it at 350 degrees F., cut-side down, for 40-45 minutes until the pumpkin flesh is fork tender. (I recommend doing this in advance).
  • When ready to cook the curry, scoop out seeds, cut pumpkin into slices and use a paring knife to slice outer skin off of pumpkin. Cube the pumpkin into 1/2-inch cubes. You should get 4-5 cups of cubed pumpkin out of one roasted pumpkin.
  • Mash 1 cup of cubed pumpkin with the coconut milk to make a thick sauce.
  • In a large skillet or wok, heat coconut oil over medium heat, add onions, garlic, cumin, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Cook for 3-4 minutes until onions soften.
  • Stir in red curry paste and cook for another minute. Then add coconut milk/pumpkin mixture and stir to combine. I like to add 1/2 cup of water here also to make sure the curry paste and everything is evenly distributed.
  • Add pumpkin cubes to the curry and turn heat down to low. Simmer curry for 5-6 minutes until sauce thickens. Taste and adjust spices to your liking.
  • Serve curry spooned over rice with cashews and fresh cilantro.


Serving: 1BowlCalories: 474kcalCarbohydrates: 48gProtein: 8gFat: 32gSaturated Fat: 27gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gSodium: 26mgPotassium: 1507mgFiber: 5gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 30207IUVitamin C: 37mgCalcium: 122mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Broccoli Brown Rice Bowl, Curry Rice Bowl, Indian Food, Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowl, Pumpkin Rice Bowl

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Dealing with The Gourd

Guys… roasting  a pumpkin isn’t hard. Get about a 3 pound PIE pumpkin from your market. Cut it in half and poke some holes in the skin with a fork. Roast this sucker, cut-side down for about 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

That’s all there is to it.

Pumpkin curry rice bowls roasted
The real stuff.

I think it’s easiest to roast this in advance actually so it can cool. It’ll be easier to chop when it’s cold so if you can plan a bit, toss one in the oven the day before.

Once the pumpkin has cooled off, scoop out the seeds, then slice the pumpkin into slices and use a paring knife to cut the skin off. Then just cube it up!

Roasting it really intensifies the pumpkin flavor.

Cubed pumpkin.
The hardest part…

Most of this pumpkin will go in the curry as cubes, but take about a cup of it and mash it into the coconut milk. This becomes sort of like a homemade pumpkin coconut puree situation. Good stuff.

Pumpkin curry rice bowl coconut.
A little bit mashed.

Then chop up your onion and garlic and you’re ready to make curry! Dealing with the pumpkin is the hardest part of this recipe, by far.

Pumpkin curry rice bowl ingredients.
Good curry start.

Cooking the Pumpkin Curry

Okay. At this point you’re like 15 minutes away from pumpkin curry.

Heat some coconut oil in a large skillet or wok and add the onions, garlic, and spices. Cook those down for a few minutes over medium heat until the onions soften. Then add the curry paste! I like to use two heaping tablespoons of really spicy red curry paste. Remember you can always add more later so err on the lesser side if you are unsure about the heat of your curry.

Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls
This will smell good.

Cook the curry paste into the onions for a few minutes and then add the coconut milk. To make sure everything is mixing together, I like to add about a 1/2 cup of water now. This will thicken quickly so don’t worry about it being too liquid.

Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls cooking
All mixed in!

Then just toss in all the cubed pumpkin! I just love the color on this dish.

Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls simmering
In the Pool.

Simmer this all together for a few minutes and, most importantly, TASTE IT! What does it need? A pinch of salt or dash of soy sauce? More curry paste? Make it work for you.

Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls.
Ready to go.

I like to serve my pumpkin curry in a big bowl of rice, garnished with a handful of cashews and fresh cilantro.

Just enough spice and sweetness.

Forget about the trendy pumpkin drinks.

This is the way you kick off pumpkin season, people.

Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls - Made from scratch with a real pumpkin! Don't get scared. It isn't that hard and is totally worth the work. Slightly spicy and sweet, this is the curry recipe you need in the fall!
Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls - Made from scratch with a real pumpkin! Don't get scared. It isn't that hard and is totally worth the work. Slightly spicy and sweet, this is the curry recipe you need in the fall!

17 Responses to “Real Pumpkin Curry Rice Bowls” Leave a comment

  1. You make everything sound so easy. :) Maybe I’ll give this a shot this weekend though; I have a good big chef’s knife so how hard can it be to cut open a pumpkin?

    Just one question–I suppose I could just up the amount of cashews in the bowl, but do you think this would go well adding tofu of some kind for protein? Maybe silken tofu mixed into the sauce, or just pan-fried pieces? Or would the texture be too weird? What about brown lentils? I like vegetable curries but they often don’t feel satisfying.

    1. Honestly the pumpkin is pretty filling on its own, but you can for sure add more stuff. If you go the tofu route, brown some firm tofu and use that. Silken tofu would be a bit weird I think. Lentils are a great idea, but I might use red lentils like you would use for a dal! Good luck!

  2. Growing up, pumpkin was a standard roast vegetable for us… yum!!! It’s such a great match for curry & red lentils are a perfect addition ::-)

  3. I love vegetarian food, as long as it’s served with a side of sausage. I might add a couple of an Andouille links to this, or maybe a little chicken. Looks awesome.

    1. Oopsy. Tablespoons. :) I like mine pretty spicy though and depending on your brand of curry paste, you might want to start with less. Good luck!

  4. What kind of red curry paste do you recommend? I’m a bit of green curry snob and I’ve run into some bad ones. So I don’t want the same thing to happen with the red.

    1. Hey Erin, I like Mae Ploy. They make a red paste and a panang paste that are really good. You could use either for this recipe!

  5. All dishes with pumpkin and all with curry are my favorite. Combined the two is divine. I’ll certainly try this recipe. Thanks for this.

  6. I’m not a big pumpkin fan, but I HAVE to try this! Even the words on the page look delicious. And, as a vegetarian trying to go vegan, this looks like a great recipe. I wonder can you substitute sweet potatoes for the pumpkin?

  7. I’m going to make this when I get home today. I have an opened can of coconut cream I plan to use — how would you go about substituting that for your coconut milk? 1 tbsp. coconut cream + 4 oz water = 4 oz coconut milk, something like that?

    1. Hey Matt! Sorry for the delay on this. I’m sure you figured it out, but yes… you can just dilute coconut cream to get to the same consistency. Technically you should use coconut water to dilute, but I’ve just used water before with great results. I’d say 3-4oz. of water per tablesoon. Hope it worked for ya!

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