Red Lamb & Pumpkin Coconut Curry

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Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

The Sugar Club Cookbook

By Peter Gordon

Published 1997

  • About

As with anything spicy the amount of chilli to use depends on your taste. At home I tend to dish up curry at a medium heat and put out a bowl of fresh chillies, finely sliced and marinating in lime or lemon juice, so people can adjust it for themselves. Chilli is something that you soon grow accustomed to and crave more of. When I first arrived in Bali in 1985 I had only a slight taste for it from the Tabasco we used to have on rock oysters as children. By the time I reached Jogjakarta in Java two months later I was a devoted fan and have been ever since.


  • 100ml ( fl oz) sesame oil
  • 1.5kg ( lb) leg of lamb, trimmed of fat and cut into 3cm (1in) dice
  • 6 large red onions, peeled and sliced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 leeks, peeled, sliced and washed
  • ½ cup finely diced ginger
  • 10 lime leaves
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
  • 750ml (26 fl oz) unsweetened coconut cream
  • 750ml (26 fl oz) brown roast chicken stock
  • 1kg (lb) peeled pumpkin, cut into 2cm (¾in) dice

Red Curry Paste

  • 2 tablespoons blachan (shrimp paste)
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled
  • 6 tablespoons grated ginger
  • 3 tablespoons grated galangal
  • 3 lemon-grass stems, the outer two layers and top third discarded, the remainder peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 10 lime leaves, chopped
  • 10 red chillies
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, freshly ground
  • 8 cardamon pods, seeds freshly and finely ground
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup chopped fresh coriander stems and roots


To make the red curry paste, put the blachan in a metal pan and place under a grill for 1 minute — keep an eye on it and make sure that it doesn’t burn. Then put it and the remaining ingredients for the curry paste into a food processer and blend to a fine paste. (This will make more than you need.)

In a large, deep saucepan heat the sesame oil and brown the lamb evenly on all sides; remove the meat and add the ingredients in the first list from the onions to the garlic and brown them too. Add half of the red curry paste and fry until aromatic. Return the meat to the pan and add the coconut cream and stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for l¾ hours, then add the pumpkin and cook till tender.

I would serve this dish with simple cooked Thai scented rice accompanied by some grilled flat bread and wok-fried bok choy.