Pumpkin and Kale Masala

Pumpkin & Kale Masala - vegan

The cupboards were bare. I stared into the fridge wondering what my house’s version of Ready, Steady Cook – theme “leftovers” would be tonight.

Turns out I had the right odds and ends for a pumpkin and kale masala. The leftovers I used for this were: onion, ginger, garlic, kale, pumpkin

  • half a small roasted pumpkin;
  • three stalks of kale that had seen better days; and
  • a small tupperware container of crushed tomatoes (the rest had gone into making pasta sauce and lentil soup).

In equal parts organisation and laziness, I pre-chop white onions, ginger root, and garlic cloves for cooking Indian and Pan-Asian meals. So this made it an easy 15 minute meal. spices, garam masala, cumin, coriander, curry

Traditionally, most people would include turmeric in this masala, but I had run out. It tastes great without it, so no harm done. Plus I admit my garam masala is the cheap stuff from the supermarket that lists turmeric as the top ingredient – it should be one of the last ingredients to be listed in good quality garam masala. 


  • 1 cup of chopped onion.
  • 2 small slices of fresh ginger root, chopped. If using pre-minced ginger, use 1 tbsp.
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped.
  • 1/2 a tin of crushed tomatoes.
  • 1 1/2 tbsps of tomato paste.
  • 2 tbsps of coconut oil to cook in.
  • 1 small pumpkin or 1/2 a medium pumpkin.
  • 3 kale stalks (or however much you have wilting in your fridge!). I aim for kale to look at least twice the size of the amount of my other veggies in dishes, because it cooks down to next to nothing.
  • 1/2 tbsp of ground coriander.
  • 1 tbsp garam masala.
  • 1 tbsp of ground cumin.
  • Pinch of cayene pepper
  • Salt to taste.
  • Water (keep a cup or 2 handy)

1. Heat oil. Soften the onion over a low heat for a few minutes.

2. When the onion starts to look translucent, add garlic and ginger. Cook for another minute or so.

3 .Add spices and stir around for about a minute.

4. Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. At this point, I see how much water I need to add. At this point, I added about 2 cups of water.

5. Stir in your pumpkin. Even though my pumpkin had been baked in the oven, you can add uncooked pumpkin at this point, essentially boiling it. If it’s uncooked, you’ll need to cook it for at least 30 minutes, depending on how much you use. Test the softness with a fork before the kale goes in. Kale heats up super quickly, so you only want it in for a few minutes!

6. Add your kale, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.

Serve! I had leftover brown rice in my fridge that I reheated and put the pumpkin and kale masala on top of it. Then I topped it off with some fresh coriander.

Makes 2 servings.

Pumpkin and Kale Garam Masala

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  1. Pingback: Vegan Kitchen Essentials - Part 2 | North & South NomadsNorth & South Nomads

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