Asian-Style Pumpkin Curry

While I currently live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, I was born and lived the first 25 years of my life in Singapore, the tropical Southeast Asian nation.

Top down view of a pan full of Asian-style pumpkin curry. A bowl of basamit rice sits to the right.

Back home in Singapore, where a melting pot of cuisines exists, I cultivated a love for all things spicy. And curry is still one of my favorite Asian dishes.

Just one taste of the spices used in this familiar dish, and I’m transported back to Asia.

Now that I am based so far away from home, I turn to beloved Asian dishes when a bout of homesickness hits. Today, I wanted to combine my affection for Asian food with my favorite winter squash, so we’re making pumpkin curry!

Top down view of a skillet of Asian-style pumpkin curry with a bowl of rice to the right and a bowl of torn cilantro above.

This super satiating vegetarian meal is big on flavor. In this case, I’m using red curry paste. I always have a bottle of store-bought paste on hand, and I find it simpler to use when I’m looking for a quick meal to make on a busy weeknight than making my own blend of spices from scratch.

As for the fresh produce, I’m using onions, garlic and cubed pumpkin, with a squeeze of fresh lime juice to add some acidity.

Pumpkin, lime, and cilantro being prepared on a wooden cutting board.

Note that this recipe is very flexible, so if you want to include other types of vegetables such as tomatoes, that will work as well!

I like garnishing this Asian dish with torn cilantro leaves. The cilantro enhances the flavors of the dish, and it also adds an eye-pleasing pop of color!

This dish will go well with either naan or basmati rice, but rice is my favorite. Either way, this recipe is amazing and one taste will take you on a culinary tour to Asia!

Are you hungry yet? I’m betting you are, so let’s go straight to the recipe!

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Asian-Style Pumpkin Curry Recipe |

Asian-Style Pumpkin Curry

  • Author: Felicia Lim
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 2 1x


Hearty pumpkin curry that combines the flavors of fall with those of Asia – this is the perfect dish to fill you up and keep you warm on a chilly night.


  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 large onions (diced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1/4 cup red curry paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 cups pumpkin (cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste
  • Torn cilantro, (for garnish)
  • 3 cups cooked basmati rice, (for serving (optional))
  • Naan or your favorite flatbread, (for serving (optional))


  1. Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté the diced onions until they turn translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the minced garlic and stir until fragrant (around 30 seconds).
  2. Add the red curry paste and water and stir well until the paste has dissolved.
  3. Add the cubed pumpkin and then allow the mixture to simmer over low heat for the next 30 minutes, until tender. Be sure to stir occasionally so that the sauce doesn’t stick to the bottom of the skillet.
  4. Squeeze in the fresh lime juice and mix well, then add salt to taste.
  5. Garnish with torn cilantro and serve with cooked basmati rice and naan.


Inspired by BBC Good Food

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 40 mins
  • Category: Autumn
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Asian

Keywords: fall, curry, Asian, pumpkin, healthy, vegan, vegetarian, autumn

Cooking by the Numbers…

Step 1 –Prepare the Mise en Place

A half of a Zapallo squash.

Get your ingredients ready. Start by dicing the onions, and mincing the garlic.

Peel and cube the pumpkin. I used zapallo ingles, a variety of squash that is readily available here in Argentina.

The ingredients laid out mise en place for a pumpkin curry.

If you’re not a pumpkin fan, or if a different variety of squash is on sale at the market, any firm type will do. Try substituting butternut, hubbard, or acorn squash.

Measure the red curry paste so you have it ready to go.

Diced and chopped vegetables, squash, and cilantro along with a a bowl of spices for the pumpkin curry.

Step 2 – Sauté the Onions and Garlic

Heat up the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and sauté the diced onions until they turn translucent (about 5 minutes).

Sauteing onions in a skillet. Top down view.

Throw in the minced garlic and stir until the garlic is fragrant (around 30 seconds).

Step 3 – Mix in the Red Curry Paste

Add the red curry paste and water, and stir well until the paste has dissolved.

Curry paste and water added to a frying pan already containing sauteed onions.

Step 4 – Add the Squash

Add the cubed squash and then allow the mixture to simmer over low heat for the next 30 minutes, until it is fork tender.

Cubed pumpkin added to the curry mixture in the skillet. Top down view.

Give it a stir every few minutes or so to ensure that the sauce isn’t sticking to the bottom of your frying pan or skillet.

Step 5 – Season

When the pumpkin is tender, squeeze in the fresh lime juice and mix well, then add salt to taste. Adding a sprinkle of your favorite finishing salt just before serving can be a nice final touch.

Step 6 – Garnish and Serve!

As with any savory Asian-inspired recipe, the flavors of this dish are beautifully enhanced with a sprinkle of torn cilantro, an herb that is always present in Asian kitchens.

Not only does it increase the depth of flavor of the dish, the cilantro also adds a pop of color that makes it look more appealing. Remember – we eat with our eyes first!

The finished curry in a skillet, topped with raw cilantro. Top down view.

If you aren’t a fan of the leaves of the coriander plant, don’t worry. Try substituting your fresh green herb, like minced Thai basil, for an added burst of herbal freshness.

A Satisfying Dinner That’s Full of Flavor

Serve this curry along with fragrant basmati rice, and you and your guests will be in for a delightful Asian meal!

To simplify the process, we suggest using a rice cooker to prep that rice.

And if you do have some extra time for meal prep, there’s nothing like homemade flatbread, served right from the oven when it’s still warm. Try our recipe for sour barley pita.

Vertical top down photo of a finished pumpkin curry topped with slices of lemon and fresh cilantro.
A satisfying dish on those cool nights, this spicy and flavorful vegetarian curry features winter squash, with cilantro and lime for a burst of freshness. Find the recipe now on Foodal.

What are your favorite Asian-inspired vegetarian dishes? Perhaps another curry, like our spicy eggplant version or pineapple recipe? Let us know in the comments below!

If you’re looking for something meatier with the same amazing spiced flavors and creamy sauce, try our slow cooker chicken curry recipe.

Love pumpkin? Then check out all of these recipes! Here are some of our favorite savory dishes:

Photos by Felicia Lim, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. First published November 12th, 2016. Last updated October 31st, 2019.See our TOS for more details.

*Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

About Felicia Lim

Felicia Lim is a Singaporean who moved to Argentina for love. Based in Buenos Aires, also known as “the Paris of South America,” she fills her days with freelance writing, recipe development, and food photography – three passions that give her endless joy. When she isn’t typing away at her computer, cooking in the kitchen, or shooting in her balcony-studio, you can probably find her curled up on the couch, lost in the pages of a good book.

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