Roast Pumpkin Massaman Curry
Southern Thai curry and its roots, a good curry sauce base for fine dining, best pumpkin roasting technique.
The seed of inspiration for the most delicious veg-based Thai curry was planted when I first tasted Rose Petal Fuk Tong Massaman at a hip new local Thai restaurant. Fuk tong means “gourd” (or some kind of squash) in Thai. It was a decadent, luscious golden curry with a single slab of perfectly caramelized pumpkin dotted with rose petals and herbs. It was incredibly aromatic and one of the best curries I had ever tasted.
Massaman curry might be one of the most delicious curries in the world (it was actually ranked number one on a list of most delicious foods in the world in 2011 by CNN and still retained that in 2018). If you haven’t tried Massaman curry, this recipe that I share today might just be the sign you need.
It is a beautifully fragrant, mildly spicy curry from Southern Thailand. It is heavily influenced by Persia, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay Archipelago. Ingredients from these regions (cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, star anise and cumin) are combined with native Thai ingredients (lemongrass, galangal, chilli, garlic, shallots, coriander and shrimp paste) to create a wonderfully warm, sweet, sour and delicious Thai curry.
Traditionally cooked with chicken and potatoes, my version has a perfectly roasted wedge of spiced pumpkin resting atop this golden curry, inspired by my meal at the aforementioned Thai restaurant. It is a dish I love cooking and serving at my dinner parties when easy and effortless sophistication is required. I use this same curry base with a different protein for more delicious variations (a seafood mix or chicken and potatoes or cauliflower and potatoes (yum!))
There are only two components to this dish - the curry sauce base and the roasted pumpkin. The curry sauce can be cooked and stored in a container in your fridge or freezer for weeks and is the handiest thing to have when all you want to do is add veggies or protein to a pot for an easy weeknight dinner. See my notes below for vegan and non-vegan versions of this sauce. And, I am going to share my trick for roasting the perfect pumpkin slice - one that is not mushy but fork-tender and sliceable like butter.