Pumpkin Finds Its Savory Side

I recently asked for suggestions about savory dishes that use pumpkin and I wasn't disappointed. I figured I might not be the only one wanting to look beyond pumpkin pie and muffins, so I'm sharing one of the great recipes that was born out of my recent search. Today's recipe is an incredibly fragrant, delicious curry that's brimming with autumn appeal. Frankly, it's the sort of dish that I'd happily serve alongside turkey at Thanksgiving dinner. After all, venison is more in line with what was served at the first Thanksgiving dinner and the Indian spices give a nod to the intended landing place of Christopher Columbus, too. How's that for including a little history lesson among the festivities?

You can substitute lean beef for the venison if you don't have a supply of it or it's not appealing to you. However, I was raised on the stuff and there's something incredibly comforting about it when served in this Indian version of stew. If you happen to have the ability to serve this with hot naan, it would also make a great accompaniment.

However you serve it, I hope you enjoy this fun recipe that highlights the savory side of pumpkin. I've also got a vegetarian chili recipe in the works that's likely to show up here soon. After all, 'tis the season!

Venison-Pumpkin Curry

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Major Grey chutney
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups (350ml) coconut milk, divided
  • 1 pound thinly sliced venison or lean beef
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked pumpkin

In a small bowl, mix together the first 7 ingredients (1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil through salt) and 4 tablespoons of the coconut milk. Add the venison or beef to the mixture and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.

Place the remaining 1/2 tablespoon of vegetable oil in a deep skillet and heat over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened and fragrant. Add the venison or beef and cook for an additional 8-10 minutes over medium-low heat.

Add the pumpkin and cook for another 4-5 minutes or until the pumpkin is heated through. Serve with rice.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 40 minutes