Lankan Pumpkin and Cashew Curry

January 08, 2021

Lankan Pumpkin and Cashew Curry

This Sri Lankan Pumpkin and Cashew Curry hits the spot every single time so it’s easy to understand why it is so loved by all Sri Lankans.

First of all, this Lankan Pumpkin and Cashew Curry is beyond delicious and, secondly, it is so easy to prepare and requires just one pot, preferably a heavy wok. This is a curry anyone could make!


Prep time: 10 – 15 mins

Cook time: 12 – 15 mins, depending on how large the pieces of pumpkin are, and whether the skin is left on or peeled off.  (We prefer to leave the skin on as that’s the way our family has done it for generations!  It’s easy enough to scrape the flesh of the pumpkin off the skin with a fork as you’re eating it.)

Serves: 4 if served with other curries or serves 2 if served on its own with rice.



From the Lankan Spice Box

  • Approximately 10 curry leaves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon (approx. 6 cm long)
  • 5 cardamom pods
  • 6 cloves
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • ¾ tsp turmeric
  • ¾ tsp unroasted curry powder
  • ¾ tsp cumin powder
  • ½ - ¾ tsp of chilli powder (depending on desired spice level)

 Other Ingredients

  • 500g of pumpkin cubed to approximately 2cm each (we prefer kent pumpkin if available)
  • 2½ tbsp olive oil
  • 1½ large red onions diced or thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 4-5 matchsticks of ginger, julienned
  • 400 ml of canned coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 - 1½ tbsp lime juice
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 small green chilli thinly sliced
  • 1 cup of cashews (roasted lightly in a pan with 1 tsp olive oil)
  • ½ small red chilli thinly sliced (for garnish)
  • fresh coriander leaves (for garnish)
  • 1 handful of pomegranate seeds (for garnish)
  • Boiled basmati rice to serve

 Lankan Pumpkin Cashew Curry with Rice


  1. On low heat, add ½ tbsp of olive oil. Add the cup of cashews and roast lightly until golden brown, coating the cashews in the oil, moving the cashews around to ensure they do not burn.
  2. Move the cashews to a side dish for later.
  3. In the remaining olive oil, sauté the onions until nearly translucent and add the garlic and ginger.
  4. Add all the spices listed in the ingredients above from your Lankan Spice Box
  5. Sauté together for another 2 minutes, ensuring the onions and spices are mixed through well and not burnt.
  6. Add the salt and sliced green chilli.
  7. Add the pumpkin into the wok and ensure the cubes are all coated in the spice mix.
  8. Add the water and 2/3 of the coconut milk and lime juice and bring to boil.
  9. Close the pot or wok with a lid and on low heat, let the pumpkin cook for 10-12 mins until the pumpkin is just soft and you could push a form through relatively easily. The exact time required depends on the size of the cubes, so keep an eye on it to ensure the pumpkin doesn’t overcook.
  10. Add the remaining coconut milk and the cup of roasted cashews and cook for another 2-3 minutes. You could either at the roasted cashews at this stage or right at the end for extra crunch.
  11. Garnish with lots of fresh coriander, the sliced red chilli and a handful of pomegranate seeds if available.
  12. Serve with freshly cooked basmati rice and enjoy!