BY SAIRA MALHOTRA
Bidding farewell to our summer love is never easy, especially when it took us 3 seasons to get there. However that light of amber that shines through those autumn leaves is more than enticing. A season that so accurately echoes hues of its environment through its fruits and vegetables sends most people’s senses in to a tizzy, imagine what it does to the palate. Today’s dish is Fall personified. A dish of Red Thai Chicken Curry with nuggets of golden pumpkin and slivers of red bell pepper will surely stoke the fire in any belly. The chicken and vegetables are coated in a reduced and thickened sauce boasting of nutty, buttery, and citrusy flavors balanced against the sweetness of the pumpkin.
Adapted from William Sonoma’s Thai Pumpkin & Chicken Curry
1 small pumpkin(kabocha, sugar pie), seeded and cubed - approximately 1lb
1 small onion, yellow
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 tbsp red Thai curry paste
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
1 tsp palm sugar/ brown sugar
3 tbsp grape seed or vegetable oil
1lb boneless and skinless thighs, cubed in to 1"piece
1/2 red bell pepper, julienne
Juice from 1 lime
Handful of fresh cilantro, on stem (I" long pieces)
1/4 cup fresh Thai basil
Steamed rice or a toasted baguette
1. Bring a large salted pot of water to boil. Add pumpkin and cook until barely tender (approximately 8 minutes). Drain and set aside.
2. Blend the red curry paste, the onions and garlic. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the mixture over low to medium heat until the aromas of paste begin to emerge.
3. Shaking the can well, whisk in half the coconut milk and all the sugar to the pan. Once the oil begins to separate from the mixture, add the chicken and simmer until the chicken is fully cooked. Add the pumpkin, julienne of red pepper and the remainder of the coconut milk and cook until the pumpkin is fork tender. Taste and season with salt if necessary and add the lime juice.
4. Remove from heat, add the basil leaves and garnish with cilantro.