“I’m one of those terrible carnivores and I strongly believe in the (semi-joking) Burmese affliction of a-thar ma-sar yat-de yaw-ga: ‘The illness caused by the failure to eat meat’,” says food writer MiMi Aye.
“However, if this gorgeous pumpkin curry is on the table, for once I’ll barely twitch. You can use any winter squash you like – it’s very good made with kabocha squash or crown prince. If you want to make this a vegetarian dish, you can swap out the shrimp paste and fish sauce for an equal amount of Japanese miso.”
Golden pumpkin curry
- 90 ml groundnut oil or other neutral-tasting oil
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 8 fresh or dried curry leaves
- 2 medium onions sliced
- 1 spring onion, green and white parts shredded
- 4 garlic cloves sliced
- 2 cm piece of ginger peeled and sliced
- 1 butternut or kabocha squash (Japanese pumpkin) peeled and cubed
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp shrimp paste (belacan)
- 2 tbsp fish sauce
- Rice to serve
- Heat the oil in a saucepan over a high heat. Add the turmeric, coriander, cumin, paprika and curry leaves to the oil and allow to sizzle for a few seconds.
- Now turn the heat down to medium and add the onions, spring onion, garlic and ginger and fry for 10 minutes, until fragrant and the onions have wilted and some have crisped up.
- Add the squash, sugar, shrimp paste and 300ml of water. Stir well. Cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Add the fish sauce, stir again and serve with steamed rice.
Mandalay: Recipes And Tales From A Burmese Kitchen by MiMi Aye, photography by Cristian Barnett, is published by Bloomsbury.
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