Roasted pumpkin tofu curry


Firm tofu- 150-200g per person

Pumpkin approximately 200g per person

Olive oil

Garlic cloves-1-2 cloves per person, peeled and slightly squashed with the flat of a knife

Salt and pepper

1-2 tins of Light coconut milk (depending on number of people)

Handful of baby spinach per person

Red or green curry paste- use according to instructions on label

Raw cashews- small handful per person

½-1 cup of cooked brown rice per person

Fresh roughly chopped coriander for serving


Chop the pumpkin and tofu into similar size cubes 2-3 cm (the larger the cubes the longer it takes to cook), add garlic and toss gently in a large bowl with olive oil so as to not break up the tofu, and season with salt and pepper. Bake in a preheated hot oven 180-200 degrees, stirring 2-3 times, for one hour (this may take longer if larger quantity). Toss the cashews in the oil that has remained in the bowl from the tofu and pumpkin. Add the cashews to the pumpkin and tofu after 40 mins.

In a wok add curry paste and coconut milk. When warm add the baked ingredients and stir occasionally until the pumpkin "mashes" into a sauce with the coconut milk. Taste and add more curry paste if needed. Add the baby spinach and when cooked serve in bowls on brown rice and top with coriander.

Nutritional Value

Tofu and brown rice-sounds very much like what the naturopath would recommend! This is a delicious way to incorporate these foods into your diet, especially if you have been afraid to cook with tofu, which is an excellent source of phytoestrogens and a good source of vegetable protein.

I like to cook this on a winter's Sunday afternoon, pottering around the house, enjoying the warmth emanating from the oven, while the pumpkin and tofu are roasting. The recipe can be modified to cater for as many people as required-or the leftovers can be taken for lunch.

Pumpkin is one of the best dietary sources of carotenoids- which are responsible for the yellow, orange and red colours of many plants (spinach is also a rich source of β-carotene, although the green pigment chlorophyll in spinach hides the yellow-orange pigment). The carotenoids that are found in pumpkin can be converted to vitamin A, which is responsible for growth and development, immune system function and vision. Carotenoids are also important antioxidants.

The absorption of these carotenoids in the intestines requires a little bit of fat in the meal. Roasting the pumpkin with olive oil not only makes it tastier but in fact enhances the nutritional uptake of the carotenoids. The total fat content of the meal can be reduced by using low fat coconut milk- the pumpkin added creates a lovely thick curry.