Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pumpkin Coconut Curry with Meatballs over Coconut Rice

Pumpkin Coconut Curry with Meatballs over Coconut Rice

After shoveling for many hours today (3 feet is a LOT of snow!!), this was a perfect meal!  This is a hearty and healthy curry that makes wonderful leftovers for lunches.  For vegetables there are onions, carrots, mushrooms, and peppers.  Protein and extra flavor comes from spiced chicken meatballs.  The sauce of the curry is pumpkin with coconut milk and lots of spices.  Served over coconut rice, the result is a meal that tastes rich and filling, yet has lots of good for you ingredients.

Spices for Pumpkin Coconut Curry with Meatballs

There are two main reasons why I like this meal.  One- there are a lot of spices, so it tastes super flavorful.  Two- the pumpkin makes the sauce for the curry nice and thick.  It's important to know that this recipe makes quite a lot of food.  However, this curry tastes even better the day after you make it (once the flavors have really had a chance to meld), so it's perfect for lunches for a few days.  Or, you could make it on the weekend for busy dinners throughout the week.

Pumpkin Coconut Curry with Meatballs over Coconut Rice

If you want to make this vegetarian, you can use sauteed, cubed, tofu instead of the chicken meatballs and veggie bouillon cubes instead of the chicken bouillon cubes.  I have done this before and it works well!   Also, the coconut rice that I made with this curry is easy to make and is great with other dishes too. 

Pumpkin Coconut Curry with Meatballs over Coconut Rice

serves: 6-8


  • 2 13.5 ounce cans coconut milk, divided
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 cups long grain brown rice
  • scant tablespoon turmeric
  • scant tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • scant tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 pounds lean ground chicken or turkey
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 8 ounces mushrooms, brushed clean and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper (or other pepper), sliced
  • 10 garlic cloves, minced
  • 20 ounces canned pumpkin**
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • handful of shredded coconut (optional)


1)  Preheat oven to 400F.

2)  For the coconut rice:  bring one cup coconut milk and 2 cups water to a boil.  Add rice and reduce heat to low.  Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes, until liquid is absorbed (don't stir)!  Remove from heat and let sit for 10 minutes.  Fluff with fork and set aside.   Note:  the remaining coconut milk will be used in the sauce for the curry.

3)  In a small bowl, combine turmeric, cumin, salt, black pepper, ginger, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

4)  In a large bowl, combine half of the spice mixture with the ground chicken.  Use your hands to mix thoroughly.   Line a baking sheet with foil or a baking mat.  Form the chicken mixture into small meatballs  (about 1 inch) and place on the baking sheet.  Once oven is preheated, bake the meatballs for about 10 minutes until cooked through.  Remove from oven and set aside.

5)  Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil and heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook until softened, stirring often, about 5 minutes.  Add carrots, mushrooms, peppers, garlic and remaining spices.  Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes more.  Add pumpkin, remaining coconut milk (should be about 2 1/4 cups of coconut milk), and bouillon cubes.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and then lower heat to medium low.

6)  Add the cooked chicken meatballs and stir to combine.  Partially cover and cook about 15 minutes.   Thin curry with water if you prefer a thinner consistency.  

7)  Serve curry over coconut rice.  Sprinkle with shredded coconut if desired.

**Get a 29 ounce can of pumpkin.  After using most of the pumpkin in this recipe, you will have about a cup leftover.  Use this in your oatmeal or in a smoothie!

(recipe adapted from Family Fresh Cooking)


  1. Hi Kaitlyn... I can't wait t try to Pumpkin Coconut Curry! Have you ever made Stuffed Green Peppers? Let me know if you have a good recipe... thanks!

    1. Hi Connie! I don't have a recipe for stuffed green peppers, but I will do the research! I've made a few different stuffed squash recipes so let me know if you'd like those!


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