Winter aduki, pumpkin & tamarind curry

Here’s a cracker of a winter warmer that will give your digestive fire a damn fine stoking. Believe it or not, this was the first recipe I ever created using food as medicine in the year 2000, the recipe was first published in my book The Healing Feeling.

This dish is intended for someone with a sluggish digestion as its ingredients and cooking method will have a warming and drying effect on the digestive system. Patients will benefit greatly from this dish, especially if taken up to three times  over a week, preferably in the day time when the digestive fire (agni) is most powerful and so as not to overtax the digestive system.

The curry is cooked slowly to maintain its warming nature, and each individual component has been selected for their healing properties. Aduki beans are used here medicinally for their drying and warming nature because they strengthen the spleen energy and have an absorbent effect on the mucous in the intestines and help clear phlegm in the lungs.

Aduki, pumpkin & tamarind curry           
            Serves 4

2 tablespoons macadamia oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 Spanish onion, diced finely
200 grams aduki beans, soaked overnight
400 ml tamarind water, pips discarded
2 green chillies, seed removed, chopped finely
200 grams pumpkin, skin & seed removed, cut into 2cm dice
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
2 x cup filtered water

2-4 x handfuls spinach leaves, washed & dried
½ bunch coriander, washed and dried

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of macadamia oil and fry the onion, mustard seeds & cumin seeds until they pop.
  2. Transfer cooked onions, cumin and mustard seeds into a thick-based large casserole pot.
  3. Add aduki beans, tamarind water, ground spices, chillies, diced pumpkin.
  4. Add water and bring to the boil then simmer 25-30 minutes until the aduki and pumpkin are cooked.
  5. Once the aduki beans are cooked, add spinach and gently wilt, taking care while mixing not to break up the pumpkin.
  6. Serve with spinach and lots of chopped coriander.


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