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Gulai Labu (Pumpkin Curry)

A mild, comforting vegetable curry that will suit all palates, gulai labu is terrific with piping hot rice
Prep Time 10 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Malay


  • 200g pumpkin, cut into chunks and skinned
  • 1 stalk lemon grass
  • 1 tbs dried prawns [or salted fish] (See Recipe Notes)
  • santan to taste (start with a few tbs)
  • 1-2 cups water (adjust according to your preference for thickness)
  • 1 red chilli, sliced
  • 4-5 shallots, pounded
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder (See Recipe Notes 1)


  • Heat up oil and saute dried prawns until fragrant, but not burnt. This extra step intensifies the umami flavour.
  • Add pumpkin, shallots, turmeric powder, santan and water. Cook over low heat until pumpkin has softened to your liking.
  • Add more santan/water if you prefer it thicker/thinner.
  • Add lemongrass and red chilli and boil a minute longer.
  • Check for seasoning and add salt to taste. Serve.


  1. Given a choice, I would rather use fresh turmeric root but as these are lockdown times, I'm very grateful for conveniences like turmeric powder!
  2. You can also add prawns to increase the "sweetness" of the dish and other veges to make up more bulk. This is a very forgiving dish!
  3. If you are using salted fish, make sure you soak it in room temperature or cold water for a few hours at least. Salted fish is EXTREMELY salty, so don't even think of dropping it straight into the gulai while cooking as it will make your dish too salty.
Keyword curry