- 2 tablespoons ghee (see Note), clarified butter, or unsalted butter
- 1 large yellow onion, minced
- 1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 to 3 large cloves)
- 2 fresh red Thai chiles, thinly sliced crosswise
- 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons black mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon curry powder
- 2 pounds peeled, seeded, and coarsely chopped cooking pumpkin, such as kuri, or butternut squash (1-inch pieces)
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- One 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk or coconut cream
- Freshly squeezed juice of 1 orange (about 1/3 cup)
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
- Grated zest of 1 lime
- Fresh cilantro sprigs or coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish
Set a 6-quart pressure cooker to the “browning” program and add the ghee, onion, ginger, garlic, chiles, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric, and curry powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is very soft and the spices are fragrant, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the pumpkin, salt, coconut milk, orange juice, brown sugar, and water. Close and lock the lid, and set to “low pressure” for 3 minutes.
Once the cooking is complete, open the pressure release valve and allow the steam to escape. Unlock and carefully open the lid. The pumpkin should be very tender; if it is not, continue to cook under pressure for 1 minute longer. Stir well, and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
The soup can be served immediately or refrigerated and gently reheated up to 1 week later. It will thicken upon sitting.
When you are ready to serve the soup, combine the yogurt and lime zest in a small bowl. Serve the soup garnished with a dollop of the lime yogurt and a sprig or sprinkling of cilantro.
*Note: Ghee is butter that has been melted slowly until the solids and liquid separate. The solids fall to the bottom, and the butter is cooked until the milk solids are browned and the moisture evaporates, resulting in a nutty, caramel-like flavor. This last step is what distinguishes ghee from regular clarified butter. In both ghee and clarified butter, the milk solids are strained out and discarded before using. Ghee is used primarily in Indian cooking but is wonderful for any high-heat cooking preparation because it has a higher smoke point than butter. You can find it in many Middle Eastern markets, or you can easily make your own at home.