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Pork and pumpkin curry

This is a really good curry for a Friday or Saturday night. It can be cooked a day or two in advance and is often better for it. It freezes well too, so you might like to make a big batch to stock up the freezer with a few meals.


Start by making the curry paste. Using a pestle and mortar, grind the cloves, star anise, peppercorns and the cumin, coriander and cardamom seeds together to a fairly fine texture.

Peel and roughly chop the ginger, garlic and onion, then put into a blender with the ground spices, curry powder and salt.

Blitz, adding just enough water to form a purée. Cut the pork into 3–4cm cubes. Peel and deseed the pumpkin and cut into large cubes; set aside.

Heat the lard or oil in a large, wide pan. Season the pork with salt and pepper, add to the pan and cook until well browned. Turn down the heat a little and add the curry paste. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring regularly to ensure the spices don’t burn.

Add the onion to the pan and cook for a few minutes until softened, then add the pumpkin and cook for a further 5 minutes. Pour in enough water to just cover the pork and pumpkin. Put the lid on the pan and simmer over a low heat for 20–30 minutes until the pork is tender.

Stir in the coconut milk and heat through. Adjust the seasoning if necessary, then stir through the chopped coriander. Finish with a good squeeze of lime.

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  • 750g lean shoulder or leg of pork
  • 750g pumpkin (or butternut squash)
  • 2 tbsp lard or oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

To finish

  • A good handful of coriander, leaves only, roughly chopped
  • A generous squeeze of lime juice

For the curry paste

  • 4 cloves
  • 1 star anise
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 3 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 tsp coriander seeds
  • 10 cardamom pods, seeds extracted
  • 50g fresh root ginger
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp salt

This recipe is taken from...

River Cottage Pigs & Pork handbook