Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Pumpkin With Curry Leaves 斋南瓜

Pumpkin With Curry Leaves 斋南瓜

Recipe source :  Doris Choo 

This lovely pumpkin dish is inspired by the vegetarian 'chap fan' stall which I patronise during my lunch break. There is always a long queue lining up for vegetarian lunch everyday.  All this while I just watched the long queue but I never wanted to join the line of people. I always opted to eat food from other stalls. My colleagues would rave about the vegetarian dishes while I just listened but not convinced at all that the food is that wonderful!

During one of our lunch breaks, there wasn't a queue at this vegetarian outlet because we were there earlier than usual. So I joined my friends to try out this great vegetarian stall. When I approached the trays of dishes I wasn't impressed at all. My friend recommended that I try out the pumpkin. "This is very nice", she told me and placed a large chunk of what looked like a burnt piece of fried pumpkin onto my plate of rice.  I have to tell you that pumpkin is not my favourite choice of vegetables. But then, I didn't want to decline my friend's very sincere recommendation. 

We found ourselves a table and sat down for vegetarian lunch. One bite into that piece of brownish and unimpressive looking pumpkin and I have to humbly retract all my negative perception of pumpkin! It was so very delicious! It has a hint of curry fragrance yet I did not see any chillies nor curry gravy coating the pumpkins.  It was crispy on the outside and very tender inside. The taste was awesome!

Now, I have to confide that I have swung to the other extreme. I look forward to lunch at this vegetarian outlet and am eager and hopeful that they serve this pumpkin dish for the day! Actually, I was so obsessed with it that  I surfed the net hoping to find the recipe. Unfortunately I have not been successful in my search. 

Finally, I experimented in my kitchen. 

I added chilli padi for the extra oomph!
Here is my version


250g pumpkin, remove the skin and cut into wedges
1 chilli padi or bird's eye chilli
1 tbsp chopped garlic
a few stalks of curry leaves
1 tsp oyster sauce
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup water
cooking oil for frying pumpkin

Ingredients for batter

1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp tapioca flour
1 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp water

Blend everything together into a smooth paste and set aside.


1.  Heat enough cooking oil in a wok for frying pumpkin.
2.  Coat the pumpkin wedges with batter and slide them into hot oil. Fry until brown on both sides. Make sure the pumpkin is thoroughly cooked. Dish up and set aside.
3.  Remove the oil used for frying pumpkin leaving only about one tbsp of the oil in the wok.
4.  Saute chopped garlic until fragrant. Add curry leaves and chilli padi and stir-fry until fragrant.
5.  Add water, oyster sauce, salt and pumpkin.
6.  Continue to stir-fry until dry.
7.  Dish up and serve.


  1. Hi Doris,
    I love pumpkin! Especially when it is roasted, so sweet, soft and yummy. Your pumpkin dish looks so good, and must be very fragrant from the curry leaves! I believe I could eat a plateful of these without any rice! Yum!

    1. Hi Joyce, Thank you, now I like pumpkins!

  2. Hi Doris, yummy and healthy. Can have it as snacks too :)

    1. Oh yeah ? Never thought of it as snack. I'm beginning to really change my perception of pumpkin. Thank you Ivy!

  3. Got oyster sauce and garlic, how can this be 斋? Without oyster sauce, can be 素。 Without oyster sauce and garlic, then, yes, 斋。


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