Jamaica Me Crazy Coconut Pumpkin Curry

Oh what a holiday we had! So much fun in the sun. And oh so much cooking of the local goodies. As always happens when I come back from an adventure, I have learned so much and now have so much goodness (or should I say, greatness!) to share.

One of the sweetest things about coming to the island of Jamaica and staying in a private cottage as oppose to a massive resort, is that I have no choice but to eat only locally grown, market available food.

I love going to the ‘bend down market’, appropriately named because you have to bend down to see the goods. I love the chaos and commotion and checking out the foods I have never seen before. I’ll share more photos this week.

This time of year that means loads of papaya, ackee fruit (more on that to come) and root veggies and pumpkin. With coconuts, literally dropping off of trees all around us, how could I not snatch one up, pick up a chunk of pumpkin and cook up an amazing curry? I am forever amazed at how easy these kinds of one pot stews are to make and how unbelievably flavourful they are.

The goods… ready to get cooked!

Pumpkin Coconut Curry

2 Tbs coconut oil
4 cups fresh pumpkin (or squash of choice), cubed
2 sweet potatoes, cubed
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 small or 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
3 cups green beans, cut to 1 inch pieces
2 inches fresh ginger, grated
1/2 cup green lentils
2 cups water
2 cups fresh or canned coconut milk (1 full can, full fat!)
1 1/2 Tbs turmeric
1 Tbs ground cumin
1 Tbs black mustard seeds
sea salt to taste

  • Heat oil in a large pot and add onions. Saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • Add turmeric, ginger and cumin and a little of the water and stir until well mixed.
  • Add lentils, all vegetables, remaining water, coconut milk and mustard seeds.
  • Stir well, cover and bring to a simmer.
  • Allow to simmer for 45-60 minutes, until curry begins to thicken. Keep in mind that even after it is done cooking, the longer you let it sit, it will continue to thicken
  • Add sea salt to taste.
  • Serve over brown rice, quinoa or salad.

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