Love, love, love butternut squash. It’s sweet, aromatic and yummy in savoury dishes. The other day, I needed to make a quick lunch of something substantial to go with either plain steamed rice or rotis. Came up with this super simple and delicious butternut squash and coconut milk curry. It needs very few ingredients and is versatile too if you want to throw in some boneless chicken or other vegetables like carrots, peas, potatoes etc. This curry always perfumes my kitchen with the delicate fragrances of cinnamon and cardamom, which I love because it whets everyone’s appetite and makes me happy to be home cooking for my family.
But peeling and cubing butternut squash does require some muscle and I always end up with sore wrists after. Luckily, I recently heard of an easier way and after trying it for myself, can say that it works wonderfully. Just heat you oven to about 190ºC, half the squash and pop it on a rack in the oven for about 15 minutes. Then wrap in foil and rest for 15 mins. The squash will be slightly soft and you can peel and chop it effortlessly. In fact, you could store the prepared squash in the fridge and use it when you need to cook something quickly, because it is already semi cooked in the oven.
Butternut Squash and Coconut Milk Curry
- 500 g butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 1 medium onion thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic thinly sliced
- 2 green chillies slit halfway
- 11/2 inch piece of cinnamon broken into three
- 3 green cardamoms
- 4 cloves
- 300 ml tin of coconut milk
- 11/2 tbsps sunflower or any neutral oil
- 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- 3/4 cup water
- Heat oil in a pan on medium and throw in the whole spices. Stir for half a minute and add the onions and sauté till lightly transparent. Now add the garlic and sauté for a further minute.
- Put in the turmeric, cook for 20 seconds more before tossing in the squash and whole green chillies. Stir fry for a couple of minutes, add the water, bring to the boil, lower the heat, cover and cook till the squash is tender but not squishy.
- Now season with salt and chilli powder keeping the heat low. Finally pour in the coconut milk and simmer for a further 2 minutes. Serve with hot rice or rotis.