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Pumpkin fried rice

Pumpkin fried rice

Fried rice is big in Sri Lanka; it’s a hybrid Sri Lankan-Chinese food, and it tastes as brilliant as you’d expect from two powerhouse cuisines coming together.

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Gluten freeVeganVegetarian1 of your 5 a day
  • Serves4
  • CourseSide
  • Prepare20 mins
  • Cook45 mins
  • Total time1 hr 5 mins


  • 400g pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 2 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil, plus extra if needed
  • 2 tsp salt, or to taste
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander
  • 200g basmati or any long grain rice, rinsed
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 10 curry leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 3 clove/s garlic, sliced
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 cardamom pods, lightly bashed in a pestle and mortar
  • 200ml coconut milk
  • tsp ground turmeric
  • 4 cm (30g) piece ginger, peeled and ­finely sliced or cut into matchsticks
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges


  • 1 tbsp coconut or vegetable oil
  • 10 curry leaves (fresh or dried)


  1. Preheat the oven to 220°C, gas mark 7. Scoop out the seeds of the pumpkin or squash with a spoon and discard. Cut the pumpkin or squash into wedges, around 2cm thick (leave the skin on). Put on a baking tray, toss in 1 tbsp oil and sprinkle with 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp chilli powder and the ground coriander, mixing well. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender and golden and starting to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and leave to cool on the tray.

  2. Meanwhile, put the rice and 400ml water in a pan over a medium heat. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 10-11 minutes, covered. Turn on the heat. Transfer the rice to a sieve and run under cold water for a few minutes. Drain well, then put in the fridge, covered, to cool until needed.

  3. Put a medium-sized wok or saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tbsp oil, then, when hot, fry the onion until translucent. Add the curry leaves and garlic, then, about a minute later, add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds and cardamom. Fry the mixture for 1 minute, being careful not to burn the spices, stirring and adding a little more oil if necessary. Pour in the coconut milk and add the turmeric and remaining ¼ tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp salt and 2 pieces of the roasted pumpkin for flavour. Cook so that the curry is gently bubbling for 3-4 minutes, then turn on the heat.

  4. In a wok over a medium-high heat, add the oil for the temper and, when hot, add the curry leaves, letting them crisp up. Add the cooked rice, curry and pumpkin wedges, breaking them up a little as you go, and cook until piping hot. Transfer to a platter and serve decorated with the fresh ginger and with the lime wedges for squeezing over.


Typical values per serving when made using specific products in recipe


1,755kJ/ 419kcals



Saturated Fat












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