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+ servings
White bowl full of creamy pumpkin curry.

Creamy Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry - Wattakka Kalu Pol

A creamy Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry ready in under 30 minutes! Wattakka Kalu Pol is naturally vegan and infused with aromatic spices and roasted coconut.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Sri Lankan
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 2144kcal
Cost $8



  • In a small saucepan, dry fry the desiccated coconut until browned, around 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Optional: Grind into a powder with a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
    ⅓ cup desiccated coconut
  • Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan and fry the shallot, garlic, ginger, chilli, pandan and curry leaves until fragrant, around 1 - 2 minutes on high heat.
    2 pandan leaves, 1 shallot, 3 tsp garlic, 1 tsp ginger, 1 red chilli, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 6-8 curry leaves
  • Add in the pumpkin pieces and sprinkle over the curry powder, turmeric powder, fenugreek seeds and mustard seeds. Toss with a spoon to coat.. Mix through and fry for another 1-2 minutes.
    850 g pumpkin, 1 1/2 tbsp curry powder, 2 tsp fenugreek seeds, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Pour in the coconut milk, toasted desiccated coconut and toasted rice powder, and bring to a boil, before turning the heat to medium and letting it simmer until the pumpkin is soft (around 15 - 20 minutes).
    3 cups coconut milk, 1 tbsp toasted rice powder
  • Optional: Remove pandan leaves and curry leaves before serving.


  • Thicken Curry - You can thicken the curry one of two ways - by cooking it down further on a low simmer, or by adding a cornflour slurry (1 tbsp cornflour + 2 tbsp cold water, mixed) and stirring it through.
  • Big Chunks Work Best - We’ve found that working with large pumpkin chunks work well, as they take a little longer to cook, allowing the sauce to cook down without the pumpkin turning to mush. The bigger pieces also tend to hold their shape for better presentation in the final dish.
  • Pumpkin - We recommend Japanese pumpkin (also known as kabocha). Leave the skin on for extra savoury flavour.
  • Spices - We use minced garlic and ginger for convenience, you can use fresh if you prefer. You’ll also need sliced fresh chilli (sub with chilli powder).
  • Toasted Rice Powder - This amazing ingredient adds a burst of nutty flavour. Look for it at your nearest Asian grocery – we found our first batch near the spices section, so try there first. It’s very simple to make at home using whole glutinous rice grains if you need.


Calories: 2144kcal | Carbohydrates: 111g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 195g | Saturated Fat: 168g | Sodium: 127mg | Potassium: 5087mg | Fiber: 17g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 73112IU | Vitamin C: 275mg | Calcium: 434mg | Iron: 38mg