Pumpkin, Black Bean & Coconut Curry

PREP TIME: 15mins


A quick and delicious curry! You can have start to finish supper ready in under 40minutes!

I love the smell of oven roasted pumpkin generously coated with garam masala, if you can get your hands on some fresh curry leaves – you can throw that in the fragrance mix too! Pure bliss.

Easy swaps, use pumpkin, sweet potato or butternut, peeled or unpeeled.

You can use 1 cup halved cherry tomatoes instead of big tomatoes.

I wouldn’t use can tomatoes here but you can, it might change your curry to be more North Indian than South, but life is short!

Serves 4 (or two with amazing leftovers)

Serving Suggestion:

Serve with basmati or jasmine rice, flatbread or garlic naan breads.



  • 6 tablespoons oil of choice (see note)
  • 1kg pumpkin sliced into wedges, peeled or unpeeled
  • 1 large onion finely chopped
  • 1 green mild chilli split lengthways or pinch chilli flakes (opt)
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 4 ripe tomatoes cut into wedges
  • 1 x tin 400g black beans, drained
  • 1 x tin 400g coconut milk (you will be adding 1/2 a can of water too)
  • twig or two of fresh curry leaves (opt)
  • 15g coriander finely chopped
  • Squeeze of lime juice & zest (opt)


  • 2 tablespoons Garam Masala
  • 1 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric




  1. Pre-heat oven to 200c
  2. Line two baking trays with baking paper.
  3. Cut the pumpkin in half, scoop out and discard the seeds then cut into half moons (crescents) or chunks.
  4. Place the pumpkin in a a large bowl, add 3 tablespoons of oil and one tablespoon of garam masala (reserving the other tablespoon for later) and 1 teaspoon salt, black pepper, toss to coat evenly ( I use my hands). The mixture needs to be on the wet side, i.e well coated with the oil.
  5. Spread the pumpkin in a single layer on the roasting trays and roast uncovered until soft and tender, about 20 minutes, remove. NB: The pumpkin should be tender but not falling apart.
  6. While the pumpkin is in the oven, add the rest of the oil to a medium saucepan,  add the mustard seeds, and gently fry till the seeds pop, keeping the lid on.
  7. Once popped, add the onions, curry leaves and chillies (if using) and gently cook, covered over a medium heat for 20 minutes, until very soft and golden (see note), stirring occasionally.
  8. Add the ginger and garlic and stir for a couple of minutes.
  9. Add the tomatoes and cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes soften, add the beans and 1 tablespoon garam masala, 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a few twists of pepper.
  10. Add the coconut milk and stir, fill 1/2 the coconut can with water, swirl to get the last of the coconut milk out and add this the saucepan.
  11.  Add the pumpkin into the saucepan and gently stir to mix taking care not to break the pumpkin pieces.
  12. Cover and leave to gently simmer and heat through.
  13. Season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lime juice & zest and sprinkle over the coriander.

Recipe adapted from Meera Sodha book Fresh India

Kitchen Notes:

Neutral oil

Normally one uses a ‘neutral’ tasting oil when making a curry. I use grapeseed oil but you can use canola or rapeseed oil as well. You can also use a coconut oil which will complement the coconut flavour in this curry, but its not a neutral oil.

Curry Onions – cooking onions in a curry is a skill, ideally we want to cook the onions over a medium heat until they are soft and starting to caramelise. This takes time, so don’t rush this step, give them enough time in your pot. The onions forms the base of your curry, the better the base the better the curry.

Kitchen Story:

Bizarrely beautiful big ‘boerpampoene’ or farmers pumpkins are ready in January in South Africa which is off course summer.

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