King Prawn and Pumpkin Curry (Konju Pulungari)

King Prawn and Pumpkin Curry

Pumpkins are festival vegetables in most of the states in southern India. They are grown abundantly in almost every household garden and cooked in all kinds of ways. There are many varieties, with a range of colours, flavours, sizes and seasons. White pumpkin has a particularly delicious and refreshing flavour, which goes amazingly well with coconut and prawns in this subtle curry.

Serve with tamarind rice or breads such as paratha.

For how many? Serves 4-6


  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of cumin seeds
  • 10 curry leaves
  • 2.5cm (1 inch) piece fresh root ginger, cut into strips
  • 2 green chillies, slit lengthways
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 150g peeled pumpkin flesh, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • salt
  • 400ml thick coconut milk
  • 500g raw king prawns, peeled but last tail section left on
  • 1 tsp white vinegar


Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the mustard and cumin seeds and, when they start to pop, add the curry leaves, ginger, chillies and onions. Cook over a moderately low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are golden.

Add the pumpkin, turmeric and a little salt and mix well for 1 minute, then pour in the coconut milk and 200ml (7fl oz) water. Bring the mixture to the boil, stirring constantly.

Add the prawns to the pan and cook, stirring, for 5 minutes or until the prawns and pumpkin are cooked. Add the vinegar and mix well. Serve hot, with rice or bread.

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