Pumpkins are abundant in the Karen state in Myanmar, where people grow them in kitchen gardens for household consumption. The pumpkins are used in a variety of traditional Karen dishes, including this delicious curry.
Recipe from Tea Garden Restaurant in Mae Sot. Notes by Chef Nge Nge:
This recipe is vegan, but the original version would typically include a small amount of fish paste, so feel free to add that if you like for a non-vegan version of the curry.
Kabocha squash or buttercup pumpkin are both good choices for this recipe. You can also use other, smaller-sized pumpkins or butternut squash, but the large ones for Halloween decoration are too watery and stringy. Use a “middle-aged” pumpkin for this curry. You can check with your finger nail when the pumpkin is ripe, but not too old. The pumpkin skin should feel like a bicycle tire (some resistance, but not too hard).
When cut in half, the pumpkin should be yellow or orange without too many seeds.
About Borderline Collective in Mae Sot, Thailand
Borderline Collective is located in Mae Sot, which is about the closest you get to Myanmar, while still being on the Thai side of the border. The shop/restaurant/art gallery/creative space was started with the purpose of supporting migrant and refugee women from Myanmar, by helping the women sell their handmade products. The women are organized in smaller, autonomous, collectives based in the small villages along the border, and Borderline Collective provides a space for the women to showcase their products, and thus reach a larger customer base.