Caribbean vegetable curry

Caribbean Vegetable Curry with Pumpkin


If you’re wondering what to do with leftover pumpkin or squash, don’t make pumpkin pie. Instead, make this Caribbean vegetable curry with coconut milk for dinner. It takes no time at all, it’s delicious and you can cook everything in less than 30 minutes in a single pot. It’s a great, simple vegan dinner idea and yummy to boot.

Island Plates in Speightstown, Barbados inspired my recipe for a Caribbean vegetable curry. Earlier this year, we were lucky enough to enjoy an incredible meal at the restaurant. We tried the vegetable curry with pumpkin. It was one of the most memorable dishes of the whole trip and we had some amazing meals in Barbados. Others agree as the restaurant has scored a well-deserved #1 ranking on TripAdvisor.

Homemade Caribbean curry powder in minutes

Making your own Caribbean curry powder requires zero effort. All you have to do is grind a few seeds and spices together. Tracking down some of the ingredients can take a little more effort. Not least because there’s a few of them. But, most good stores should stock everything you need.

Begin by combining a tablespoon of coriander seeds with one and a half of turmeric. Add half a tablespoon each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and fenugreek seeds. There are lots of seeds involved. Finally, add half a tablespoon of mixed allspice or allspice berries.

Use a pestle and mortar to grind everything together into a coarse powder. It shouldn’t take more than a minute or two and once you’ve made the powder, you can keep it for several months. Store it in a jar or plastic container, so it is on hand whenever you fancy making a Caribbean curry at home.

Simple and delicious Caribbean vegetable curry

Creating the base for the curry is important. Start by dicing a small onion. Fry over a low heat in olive oil until tender. Add a couple tablespoons of the curry powder, the sliced garlic, and star anise. Mix everything together with a wooden spoon, so the flavours combine.
After about a minute, add the red lentils, vegetable stock and coconut milk. Continue to cook for about five minutes before adding the cubed pumpkin or squash. Butternut squash is particularly good, but most squashes will do. You will need to remove the tough skin and chop into chunks about one inch in size.
Let everything simmer over medium heat, stirring well and often. After about 15 minutes, the pumpkin or squash should be tender, and the lentils nice and soft. If they’re not quite ready, cook for a few more minutes and try again. Then add in the spinach and halved cherry tomatoes and cook for five more minutes.
Sprinkle fresh coriander on top of the curry. Enjoy with a side of rice or roti bread for a simple dinner.

Caribbean vegetable curry

Vegan Caribbean food: easy vegetable curry recipe

Caribbean Vegetable Curry with Pumpkin
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
25 mins
Total Time
30 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Caribbean
Servings: 2 people
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion (diced)
  • 2 tbsp Caribbean curry powder
  • 3 garlic cloves (sliced)
  • 2 star anise
  • 2 tbsp red lentils
  • 150 ml vegetable stock
  • 165 ml coconut milk
  • 200 g pumpkin or squash (cubed)
  • 50 g fresh spinach
  • 50 g cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • A sprinkling of fresh coriander
  1. Dice an onion and fry over a low heat in olive oil until tender.
  2. Add the curry power, sliced garlic, and star anise. Mix together for about one minute.
  3. Add the cubed and peeled pumpkin or squash to the pan. Pour in the red lentils, vegetable stock and coconut milk. Simmer over a medium heat for about 15 minutes until tender.

  4. Mix in the fresh spinach and cherry tomatoes and cook for five more minutes.
  5. Serve with rice or roti bread and a sprinkling of fresh coriander.

For more simple dinner ideas, check out my growing collection of Caribbean recipes. Our trip to Speightstown, Barbados provided lots of inspiration. So I’m adding even more delicious recipes all the time.

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