Simple Chicken and Pumpkin Curry

3:10 pm on 14 August 2015


  • 3 tbsp grapeseed oil
  • 1 free-range chicken, cut into 8 pieces
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp whole cardamom pods, crushed and seeds removed
  • 2 small red chillies
  • 3cm piece of ginger, peeled
  • 2 medium onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 330g tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 1kg pumpkin
  • 400g can of coconut milk
  • 1 bunch of washed and dried spinach leaves
  • steamed rice to serve


In a deep casserole or frying pan, heat the grapeseed oil and brown the chicken on all sides. You may prefer to do this in small batches rather than crowding your frying pan. Remove the chicken to a suitable plate and reduce the heat under the frying pan to low.

Using a spice mill or a pestle and mortar, very lightly grind the cumin, coriander and cardamom together, just enough to release their exotic fragrances. Add them to the warm pan.

Seed the chillies, chop them and add to the spices. Grate the ginger, peel and chop the onions finely and stir them into the spice and ginger mixture, stirring to make sure nothing burns on the bottom of the pan.

Keep the heat low as you do all this, so that all the aromas are slowly released. Add the chopped garlic and add to the pan with the turmeric and the chopped tomatoes. Bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. While it comes to the simmer, halve and peel the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Cut into thick slices and roughly chop them into 2cm chunks.

Add the pumpkin and the coconut milk. Gently place the chicken pieces back into the pan, cover with a lid and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 30-40 minutes. Just before serving add the spinach leaves and stir them through the curry to wilt. Serve with steamed rice.

Serves 4

From Afternoons with Jesse Mulligan

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