Sri Lankan Pumpkin Curry (Wattaka Kalu Pol)


Recipe adapted from: and


  • ⅓ cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 medium red onions, finely sliced
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves (~15-20 leaves)
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely sliced
  • 3 long green chillies, sliced
  • ½ tsp black mustard seeds, ground
  • ½ tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 kg pumpkin, cut into cubes, skin left on
  • 1 tsp seeded mustard
  • 2 Tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1–2 tsp salt
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 500 ml (2 cups) coconut milk

Instead of the 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds and the 1 tsp seeded mustard, I just ground up 1.5tsp of yellow mustard seed. Not sure if it makes a difference?

I also used 800mL of coconut milk because 1 can is 400mL and I didn’t want to waste it.


  1. Toast the desiccated coconut in a pan over medium heat until it becomes a golden colour and fragrant. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan and add the onion, curry leaves, garlic and green chilli. Fry briefly then add the mustard and fenugreek seeds and continue frying for 2 minutes.
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan: pumpkin, seeded mustard, curry powder, (+ chilli powder optional), turmeric powder, salt, cinnamon sticks, and coconut milk. Bring to the boil and cook over high heat until the pumpkin is tender (don’t overcook the pumpkin or else your curry will be soupy!).
  4. Add the coconut to the curry when pumpkin is ready then cook for a few more minutes. Serve with rice.

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