Burmese Pumpkin Curry with Turmeric and Sweet Basil

The name of this curry? We have no idea. Let’s go with ‘a Burmese recipe for Pumpkin Curry’. Is it traditional? Well, it should be! As a Burmese chef in a restaurant in Yangon serving only authentic Burmese food, wrote it on a napkin for Tim.

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Pumpkin Curry from Myanmar is easy to make and very delicious.

About this recipe for Pumpkin Curry

This Burmese recipe for Pumpkin Curry, is one with a story. Wondering the streets in Yangon (Rangoon), there seems to be little point searching for good restaurants as tasty, traditional food is ubiquitous outside. Streets are full of food stalls that have a variety of food I haven’t seen in many places. 

But, I would betray Myanmar if I would say that restaurants are not worth visiting. Once I ate this pumpkin curry in a restaurant and I liked it so much I asked the chef to write it down on a napkin. Ever since, it’s been a regular between the most frequent curries I make.


For 2 servings

Pumpkin, Onion and Sweet Basil are the main ingredients for Burmese Pumpkin Curry
  • ¼ big pumpkin (or 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped up
  • 1 cube of vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons of turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • A few branches of Thai sweet basil (or subsitute with half regular basil, half mint leaves)

Kitchen utensils

  • Cooking pan
  • Saucepan

How to make Burmese Pumpkin Curry

Prep: 5 min. | Cook: 25 min. | Total: 30 min.

  1. Peel the pumpkin and cut in big chunks.
  1. Boil the pumpkin in ample water for about 15 minutes until the chunks are soft such that it is easy to prick them with a fork, but still firm enough to hold their structure. 
    When the pumpkin is ready, rinse and keep the pumpkin broth.
  1. Meanwhile, cut the onion in thin slices. Chop up the 2 cloves of garlic. 
  1. Heat up 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil (sunflower or peanut) in a saucepan.
  1. When the oil is hot, add the onion and the garlic. Stir well. 
  1. When the onion becomes translucent, add a few splashes from the pumpkin broth. Stir well and add 2 teaspoons of turmeric and a teaspoon of salt. Also add 2 tablespoons of soy sauce and a cube of vegetable stock. 
  1. Add the pumpkin chunks and stir well when keeping the pan on medium heat. Add a few more splashes of the broth such that you’ll get a thin gravy. 
  1. After 2 minutes of stirring on medium heat, add a few leaves of sweet basil and stir for another minute before serving.

Eat with rice.

If you make this curry, leave a comment below! It would make our day :).

Burmese Pumpkin Curry is best eaten with rice.


Recipe: Burmese Pumpkin Curry
Country: Myanmar
Prep: 5 min.
Cook: 25 min.
Total: 30 min. 
Ingredients: pumpkin, onion, turmeric, vegetable stock, soy sauce, salt, sweet basil
Type of meal: side dish

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