Today has been a great day I have been cooking up a storm in the kitchen with a good friend of mine. The original plan was to make cheese which we duly did whipping up paneer within a couple of hours, but then it developed in to a fully blown cooking session where we made a fish curry from scratch, hummus, saag paneer and flat breads – it was an EPIC morning of cooking!
Squash and pumpkin are in season at the moment and are at their best, so make sure you use them in your cooking whether it be in a soup or roasted with your Sunday lunch. The pumpkin in this recipe replaces the need for rice and acts as a bowl for the curry making it a fun meal to eat. Don’t worry if you can only get a hold of a large pumpkin just use it as a serving bowl for the centre of the table instead.
The inspiration for this meal came from a restaurant that I used to go to from time to time in Hong Kong which used to serve their Thai red curry in a pumpkin. It is something that I have wanted to try for a long time so when a friend’s mother gave me a blue pumpkin a few weeks ago I knew exactly what I was going to do with it.
The recipe for the curry paste should be treated as guidance rather than fixed amounts. The reason for this is that you need to adjust the amounts to reflect your own palette and the intensity of the flavours of the ingredients that you are able to get. For example, if you use a particularly hot chilli you may only want to add a little at a time until you get the spice level that you are looking for. This recipe makes enough curry paste for a curry to serve eight people, so make sure that you only use what you need and then freeze the rest of the paste in an ice tray so that you can you the paste for future curries.
With respect to what fish you use it really boils down to what you prefer, I would recommend that you use quite a meaty white fish for example, cod, haddock or monkfish. One other thing if you can use fresh fish rather than frozen do, the reason for this is that frozen fish has a tendency to break down during the cooking process far more than fresh fish.
- 5/6 garlic cloves
- 1 scotch bonnet chilli
- 2 lemongrass sticks
- 1 large bunch fresh coriander (use both the stalks and leaves)
- Juice of 1 lime
- Zest of 2 limes
- 6” ginger (peeled)
- 3/4 tbsp fish sauce
- 100g fresh pineapple (peeled)
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3/4 tbsp olive oil
- Place the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until you have a paste consistency. (Make sure that you add the ingredients a little at a time and adjusting how much you use of each ingredient according to your own personal taste.)
Note: remember to freeze the curry paste that you don’t need.
For the curry:
- 2 small pumpkins
- 2 cloves of garlic (no need to peel)
- Olive oil
- 3/4 heaped tbsp of the curry paste
- 150g prawns
- 300g haddock (skinned and cut into inch chunks)
- ½ a can of coconut oil
- Preheat your oven to 190C Fan.
- Prepare the pumpkins by levelling the bottom of the pumpkins so that they sit comfortably on a roasting tray and cut of the top of the pumpkins to create a lid.
- Do not de-seed the pumpkins at this point, you do this once it is cooked.
- Place a garlic clove in the centre of each of the pumpkins (you made need to cut a slight hole in the pumpkin to do this) and drizzle over a little olive oil then place the ‘lid’ back on top of the
- Place the pumpkins on a roasting tray that has been lined with tin foil and cook in the oven for 45-60 mins or until the pumpkin is cooked.
- Whilst the pumpkin is cooking prepare the curry paste and the fish.
- Once your pumpkin is cooked, remove the garlic clove and de-seed the pumpkin being careful to not scrape through the bottom of the pumpkins.
- Place the pumpkins on the plates that you intend to serve them on. You made need to use a little
of the cooked pumpkin to plug any holes in the bottom of the pumpkin to prevent the curry from leaking out of the bottom.
- Once you have finished preparing the pumpkins make your curry.
- Place the curry paste in a frying pan and heat. Add in the fish and prawns and stir.
- After a couple of minutes pour in the coconut milk and cook for roughly 5 minutes until the fish is cooked.
- Spoon the curry into the pumpkins and serve. Enjoy!