A vegan chickpea pumpkin curry for a simple, seasonal autumn meal. Served with naan or brown rice, it’s a budget friendly, filling, and healthy dinner that freezes well.
This is a really cozy pumpkin curry without tomatoes, exactly what’s needed on chilly almost winter evenings. It’s not a traditional curry by any means as far as I can tell – rather kind of a mix between a Thai and Indian curry, with a thinner base made with coconut milk, but a dry spice mix adding lots of savoury flavour.
Serve with brown rice for a healthier meal or go for vegan naan if you want maximum comfort food. Rice is definitely lower effort and just as good, but you’ll want some kind of grain/carb to soak things up here. Quinoa, roti, whatever you like.
With pumpkin, chickpeas, greens, and a good spice mix, this is exactly what I want most winter days. Pumpkins are great at this time of year! They’ve been harvested now and are readily available, cheap, and delicious.
My garden pumpkins have just finished curing and will keep well into the winter months. With chard or kale, this is seasonally appropriate right through until spring using stored pumpkins.
Scroll to the bottom of the post or click “skip to recipe” above to see the recipe card with full ingredient measurements and instructions.
Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the oil. Add the onion and cook for about two minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Place the pumpkin into the pot and cook, stirring frequently, for about five minutes. It should be slightly softened.
Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and cayenne pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables. Pour in the apple cider vinegar and stir. This will lift anything that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot during cooking (deglazing).
Add the coconut milk, water, and chickpeas. Cover and bring to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is softened.
Remove the curry from the heat and stir in the greens to wilt. Frozen greens will require a couple of minutes of simmering. Taste and season as needed. Serve immediately, with naan or rice.
Tips and Notes
Use a type of pumpkin (winter squash) that doesn’t need to be peeled if you can. Hokkaido pumpkin is pictured and it’s great – no peeling and a delicious, firm orange flesh. This might be called red kuri where you are.
Don’t worry if you have some spices or little pieces of ginger sticking slightly to the pot during cooking. The apple cider vinegar lifts any of these stubborn bits and they just add flavour!
Try to be mindful of the rate at which the curry is boiling, and keep it to a low boil and immediately reduce the heat to simmer. Coconut milk has a tendency to separate when boiled, and it likely will here if boiled too long. A gentle heat is key.
This curry is definitely on the broth-y side of things, definitely a bit soupy. If you prefer more heft, reduce the amount of water by half or add more vegetables.
Can’t get a hokkaido pumpkin? Butternut is great instead! It needs to be peeled, of course, and is slightly sweeter, but works well. Any kind of winter squash can be used if you have access to less common varieties, too.
The type of greens used can be altered depending on what you have on hand. Chard, kale, spinach, and rucola can all be added interchangeably – though you may want to cook the kale for a minute or two rather than adding it at the end to wilt. Frozen greens can be used too.
Fresh turmeric can be used in place of dried (I list dried as it’s more readily available). Mince it and add alongside the ginger and garlic. You’ll need a pinkie-sized piece, or a generous teaspoon minced.
More Seasonal Curries and Stews
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- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 thumb ginger, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 small pumpkin, cut into 4 cm pieces (about 2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt (to taste)
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom (1 pod fresh)
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 400 ml (13.5 oz.) canned full-fat coconut milk
- 400 ml water (fill the can from the coconut milk)
- 200 grams (1 1/2 cups) cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed
- 70 grams (3 cups) greens, roughly chopped (chard, kale, spinach, etc.)
- Brown rice or naan to serve
- Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the oil.
- Add the onion and cook for about two minutes, or until softened and fragrant.
- Place the pumpkin into the pot and cook, stirring frequently, for about five minutes. It should be slightly softened.
- Stir in the garlic and ginger, and cook for another minute. Add the salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, and cayenne pepper. Stir to coat the vegetables.
- Pour in the apple cider vinegar and stir. This will lift anything that may have stuck to the bottom of the pot during cooking.
- Add the coconut milk, water, and chickpeas. Cover and bring to a low boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the pumpkin is softened.
- Remove the curry from the heat and stir in the greens to wilt. Frozen greens will require a couple of minutes of simmering. Taste and season as needed.
- Serve immediately, with naan or rice. Leftovers freeze well in a sealed container for up to a month and can be refrigerated for 3-4 days.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 465Total Fat: 25gSaturated Fat: 19gUnsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 566mgCarbohydrates: 54gFiber: 12gSugar: 6gProtein: 15g
This data is provided by a calculator and is a rough estimation of the nutritional information in this recipe.
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This post was originally published in November 2016. It has been updated with new photos and text, and some slight changes to the recipe, as of November 2020.