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King Prawn and Pumpkin Curry (Konju Pulungari)

Pumpkins are grown in abundance in India and come in a wide range of colours and sizes. The vegetable goes particularly well with prawns and coconut milk, as seen in this tasty Konju Pulungari 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.

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2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ 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
½ tsp ground turmeric
400ml thick coconut milk
500g raw king prawns, peeled but last tail section left on
1 tsp white vinegar

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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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