Start prepping the coconut rice by rinsing it in water until the water runs clear. Drain rice and soak in water for 15 minutes. Drain the rice and add it to a pot with: coconut milk, water, salt and kaffir lime leaf (if using). Bring it to a boil, give it just one stir, cover with the lid, set on low heat and cook for 15 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave it for another 10 minutes.
For the katsu pumpkin. Coat the pumpkin slices in the flour first, then in the milk and finally coat them well in the panko bread.
Place into a well oiled air fryer basket or oven rack, spray the top with some vegetable oil and cook for 20 minutes in the air fryer at 180°C (355° F), flipping the slices halfway through, or for 30-35 minutes at the same temperature in a pre-heated oven, or until fork tender. Alternatively you can deep fry the slices in abundant vegetable oil for 4-5 minutes per side, or until golden brown and fork tender.
For the curry. In a wok or large saucepan heat the oil over medium high, then add the chopped onion and carrot and fry until the onion turns soft and translucent (5-7 minutes).
Add the garlic and ginger and fry for another minute and then sprinkle in the flour, curry powder and turmeric. Stir well to combine and break down any flour lumps that form with your spoon.
Add the sugar and soy sauce, then starting pouring the vegetable stock a bit at a time, stirring constantly as you do.
Blend the sauce until creamy smooth, then put it back on the heat for another 5 minutes, until it starts thickening up (for an extra smooth texture, you can pass the sauce through a sieve).
Add up to 150 g of full fat coconut oil, until you reach the taste and the consistency you like, then squeeze as much as lime juice you like (alternatively you can serve it in wedges so people can use it as much as they like.
Return the sauce on the stove and heat until hot.
Serve the (hot) katsu pumpkin topped with the curry sauce with coconut curry on the side.