Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry

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Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry

One of the most versatile and abundant fall produce is the pumpkin. Out here in the West, pumpkins are mainly used in soups and desserts. As far as I can remember, they are frequently used as a vegetable in savory dishes in Malaysia. One popular dish is pumpkin rice similar to the Spiced Rice and Squash I made recently. They are also used in stir-fries and curries.

I bought a perfectly shaped pie pumpkin home from the store last weekend but wasn’t sure what to make with it. Looking at my Food Gallery, I spied a recipe under the Malaysian section and knew instantly what’s for dinner that evening. I figured the sweet pumpkin would be delicious in the tangy and fragrant Nyonya curry sauce coupled with shrimps. I was very happy with the outcome and so was the rest of the family. Two days later, I made the curry again using chicken as per my Chicken Curry with Kaffir Lime Leaves recipe and decided to update the post with fresh write-up and pictures. The recipe remains the same. The other curry recipe that you may enjoy is Labu Lodeh. Do check them out.

Chicken Curry with Kaffir Lime Leaves Labu Lodeh


Now, let us get back to today’s Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry recipe. This curry turned out to be relatively mild as the red chilies found here are not that spicy and the sweet pumpkin did neutralize the heat a little. Ro-Jiro who has a mild palate had no problems eating this at all.

Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry

Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry


  • 1 2½-lbs pie pumpkin, peeled, seeds removed, and cubed
  • 8 oz (225g) shrimps, peeled and deveined
  • 6 Kaffir lime leaves
  • 1½ cup (360ml) coconut milk
  • 3 tbsp lime juice or 3 pieces assam gelugor
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • Spice Paste
  • 5 fresh red chilies, cut into small pieces
  • 6 shallots or 1 medium sized onion, peeled, and cut into small pieces
  • 1 stalk lemon grass, sliced bottom third into rings
  • 1½ in galangal or ginger root
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled, and halved
  • ¾ tsp tumeric powder


Grind spice paste ingredients in a blender or food processor with 2 tablespoons of water until fine.

Heat oil in a pot and stir fry ground spice paste until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add coconut milk, kaffir lime leaves, and assam gelugor, if using. When it comes to a boil, season with salt. Reduce heat to medium low and allow sauce to simmer for 10 minutes.

Add cubed pumpkin and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes, until pumpkin is tender but not mushy. Add shrimps and cook for another 3 minutes.

If you did not use assam gelugor, stir in lime juice now. Turn off heat and allow curry to sit for 15 minutes before serving.


Curry normally thickens and the flavor develops when allowed to sit. The oils will float to the surface, giving it a nice glistening and very appetising look. Serve warm with lots of steamed rice.

Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry

I am sending this Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry to Suresh for Muhibbah Malaysian Monday Roundup #16. Please check out his blog for many more wonderful Malaysian recipes.

Nyonya Style Pumpkin and Shrimp Curry

Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 8-)

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33 Responses

  1. I don’t usually think of pumpkin and curry, but you got me sold!

  2. Lyndsey says:

    I just picked up 2 pie pumpkins this weekend…planning on doing something with it. This curry looks so good, and special! I hope my pie pumpkin is sweet enough!

  3. I love pumpkin and prawn and the combination sounds great :) I’d love to try them for my family. I’m sure they’ll love this great dish.

  4. Julie M. says:

    Now that is something I could sink my teeth into! It looks so warm and hearty on this chilly October morning!

  5. I love the idea of pumpkin and curry mingled together and nothing is more perfect than curry on shrimp- so this dish is a winner for sure!

  6. Haruna says:

    Wow! Yum yum!

  7. Juliana says:

    This pumpkin and shrimp looks delicious with curry…great recipe!
    Hope you have a wonderful week ahead and thanks for this tasty recipe Biren :-)

  8. rebecca says:

    wow this looks amazing and what a great way to use pumpkin

  9. Gina says:

    Hi Biren,
    Sounds so warm and comforting. Might be a good use for the pumpkin we didn’t get carved. Hope you had a Happy Halloween.

  10. tigerfish says:

    How I wish I can eat some pumpkin now. I will be missing pumpkin a lot this fall due to my injury and difficulty in cutting the hard-core of pumpkin :(

    Love your nyonya style cooking for this dish. Very appetizing!

  11. I’ve always grown up with pumpkin being a sweet, desserty kinda food and the idea of putting spices in it makes me cringe. I am still trying to get used to the idea of pumpkin soup but your addition of yummy shrimp intrigues me..

  12. i only know adding pineapple into prawn curry, never know also can add in pumpkin, must this one day. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Parsley Sage says:

    This looks amazing. I love savory pumpkin dishes! I’d not had them before moving to the Caribbean and I was an instant convert :)

  14. This looks super, Biren! I love how spicy it looks!

  15. This is has my name written all over Biren – infact I was just thinking of a similar pumnpkin and shrimp dish we make but with mustard and I haven’t made that is ages either.

    But this too heavenly to miss. I must get on this month’s menu :)

    chow! Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

    • Biren says:

      Good to see you again, Devaki. :) In Malaysia, pumpkin is often paired with the intense flavor of dried shrimps. The two go together really well. Shrimps work well too!

  16. Pumpkin and curry is a great combination – I actually found that out from my favorite Thai restaurant… it’s seasonal but they had it and oh my it was really delicious! Adding shrimp will make my husband happy because he needs meat or seafood in the meal. Oh looks so delish Biren!!!!

    • Biren says:

      Yes, pumpkin and curry is definitely a great combination. Adding a little shrimp makes it even tastier! It is understandable that the curry dish is seasonal here as fresh pie pumpkins are seldom found outside of the fall season.

  17. This pumpkin and shrimp curry looks so flavorful!

  18. Jay says:

    wow…nice combination of delicious flavors…absolutely inviting clik…love it..;)
    Tasty Appetite

  19. Blackswan says:

    Biren, I must say this is such a mouth-watering dish & I’m already salivating now! OMG, I can feel the sourness in my mouth. Stop it, Biren!! U’re making me drool! Lol!

  20. Jeannie says:

    I love the look of this dish! The shrimps look so succulent! Yummy!

  21. The sweet and spicy combination sounds great in this curry!

  22. Priyanka says:

    Awesome recipe…its such a colorful and bright dish.
    You have a lovely space too

  23. Nutmeg Nanny says:

    This looks delicious! I love the added shrimp…that would be my favorite part!

  24. anh says:

    This curry is new to me. Look so delicious.

  25. Wow! This sure looks delicious. I like both, pumpkin and shrimps, and with the curry spice this is surely going to be cooked in my kitchen.

  26. kristy says:

    This curry sounds terrific. Thanks for the recipe.

  27. Diana says:

    I have some left-overs pumpkin that I used for traditional cake last weekend and just bought some shrimp. How lucky I felt today to get to know your blog. This recipe come in so handy. Will love to try this.

  28. Lyn says:

    This recipe is interesting to me bcoz I’ve never try adding pumpkin to curry nor have I tasted it before! Yours looks so appetizing and I love its beautiful color! ;)

  29. I love pumpkin curry too. Since my husband is vegetarian, I cook lots more vegetarian stuff. It means when I cook non-vegetarian foods, I will need a help for eating or else I will eat it for days :)

  30. Wowo just looking to that picture makes me drool and makes me feel hungry and i just had my dinner.

  31. Hmmm… I don’t know which I like better, that gorgeous curry, or the lovely batik piece beneath it ;)

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