Nigella’s Thai Yellow Pumpkin and Seafood Curry

I’m on team Nigella. I’d never even followed a recipe of hers or flicked through one of her cookbooks until I lived in London. It was there that I was exposed to her celebrity status (I’m always a sucker for a quick peruse of gossip mags at the supermarket) and learned to love her well-earned cooking reputation.

She cooks real food; sometimes healthy and sometimes not. She sure does know how to bring back childhood memories and flavours, it’s as though it’s come straight from your grandma’s kitchen.

This week I wanted to share one of my all time favourite recipes of hers. It’s perfect for us as we’re well and truly into the cold nights that call for something creamy and satisfying.  

Of course I can’t help naturopathing this recipe – after all it contains turmeric, one of my most used herbs in clinic.

For a bit of turmeric 101, here are the healing powers of this wonderful herb:

  • Potent anti-inflammatory properties
  • Natural pain relief
  • Reduces bloating
  • Aids digestion by improving gut flora
  • Boosts immune function
  • Contains anti-bacterial properties
  • Supports fat metabolism
  • Detoxifies the liver

Ok ok, I’ll stop showing off. Clearly there’s no reason you shouldn't include this in your next meal planning exercise. So, without further ado…


  • 1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
  • 1 - 2 tablespoon red thai curry paste (or yellow)
  • 350 ml fish stock
  • 3 tablespoons thai fish sauce (nam pla)
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar
  • 3 stalks lemongrass (cut into 3 and bruised with flat of knife)
  • 3 kaffir lime leaves (destalked and cut into strips)
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 kilogram pumpkin (peeled and cut into bite sized chunks)
  • 500 grams salmon fillets (pref organic) skinned and cut into large bite sized chunks
  • 500 grams peeled raw prawns
  • pak choi (or any other green veg of your choice)
  • juice of 1 lime (to taste)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander (to serve)


  1. Skim the thick creamy top off the tin of coconut milk and put it, over medium heat, into a large saucepan or casserole with the curry paste. Let it sizzle and, using a fork, whisk or wooden spoon, beat milk and paste together until combined.
  2. Still beating gently, add the rest of the coconut milk, fish stock, fish sauce, sugar, lemongrass, lime leaves and turmeric. Bring to a boil and then add the pumpkin. Cook on a fast simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 15 minutes, although different sorts of pumpkins can vary enormously in the time they take to cook; some squash take as little as 5 minutes.
  3. You can cook the curry up till this part in advance, maybe leaving the pumpkin with a tiny bit of bite to it (it will soften and cook as the pan cools). Either way, when you're about 5 minutes away from wanting to eat, get ready to cook the seafood.
  4. So, to the robustly simmering pan, add the salmon and prawns (if you're using the prawns from frozen they'll need to go in before the salmon). When the salmon and prawns have cooked through, which shouldn't take more than 3-4 minutes, stir in any green veg you're using - sliced, chopped or shredded as suits - and tamp down with a wooden spoon.
  5. When the pak choi's wilted, squeeze in the juice of half a lime, stir and taste and add the juice of the remaining half if you feel it needs it. Take the pan off the heat or decant the curry into a large bowl, and sprinkle over the coriander; the point is that the coriander goes in just before serving.
  6. Serve with more chopped coriander for people to add to their own bowls as they eat, and some plain Thai or basmati rice.

On a side note, I recommend using 1 teapsoon of turmeric, rather than ½ teaspoon in her recipe... Naturally.

Featured in ‘Nigella Bites’ by Nigella Lawson.


Olivia McFadyen, based in Mosman on Sydney's Lower North Shore, is a qualified Naturopath, Nutritional Therapist, Herbalist and Homoeopath. Whilst Olivia is a qualified Naturopath and Nutritionist, she is also a realist and understands the demands of modern day life, offering nutrition, herbal medicine and homoeopathic consultations and support without compromising on the enjoyment food can bring. She is passionate about supporting patients to reach their lifestyle goals, optimise their health & develop a healthy yet balanced way of life through naturopathy and homoeopathy. She services her clients by offering 4 and 12 week natural health programs from her clinic in Mosman on Sydney's Lower North Shore.