One-Pot Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry
May 29, 2020
A quick, easy curry recipe featuring some stock-cupboard faves, long-lasting veg, and big, bold spices. Butternut squash is great at keeping for a long time, particularly in the fridge, so this recipe is perfect for people trying to avoid waste. If you don’t have a tin of chickpeas, dried will work perfectly too. Just make sure they’re soaked and cooked before using in this recipe. Finally, the spices are a killer combo, but by no means inflexible. Feel free to simply use the spices you’ve got or simply use a nice curry powder instead!
- Yield: Serves 4 1x
- ½ t coriander seeds
- 3 T vegetable oil
- 2 t garam masala
- ½ t ground turmeric
- ¼ t fenugreek powder
- ¼ t chili powder
- 1 t ground cinnamon
- ¼ t ground ginger
- 1 dried chili
- 5 curry leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- Thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
- 2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 500g peeled, de-seeded butternut squash chunks (around 1 small squash)
- 200ml coconut milk
- 350ml vegetable stock
- 1 400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 3 T fresh/frozen coriander, roughly chopped or torn
- 4 tsp flaked almonds
- Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the coriander seeds. Allow them to toast, swirling the pan, for a few minutes until smoky and fragrant. Don’t allow them to burn. Remove them from the heat and grind roughly in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder.
- Add the oil to the pan and add the spices, including the ground coriander seeds, dried chili, and curry leaves. Stirring constantly, allow the spices to temper in the hot oil until bubbling and very fragrant.
- Add the chopped onion to the pan and stir. Fry for around two minutes but don’t let the onion brown (lower the heat if necessary). Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further 2 minutes.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and stir well. If the onions are starting to stick at this stage, add 3-5 tbsp of water along with the tomatoes to deglaze the pan. Cook, stirring often until the tomatoes are starting to break down and lose their shape – around 5 minutes.
- Add the cubes of butternut squash and stir to coat in the curry paste. Add the vegetable stock and bring to a simmer. Stirring occasionally, allow the curry to simmer with a lid on for around 10-15 minutes or until the squash is cooked.
- Once the squash is cooked and the sauce has reduced nicely, add the coconut milk and stir. Lower the heat and allow the curry to simmer for a few moments before removing from the heat.
- Stir in the coriander and top with the flaked almonds. Serve with steamed basmati rice and/or Rotis.
Here’s a simplified, illustrated version of the process behind this curry! You can use these steps with all sorts of different ingredients to customize and create something unique!
Keywords: vegan curry
Toast and Temper Your Spices
In order to fulfill their true potential, spices need to be either toasted (on a dry pan) or tempered (in oil) before using in a curry. With seeds, such as the coriander seeds in this recipe, I recommend dry toasting them in a hot pan and then grinding roughly. For pre-ground spices, add them to some hot oil and let them bubble until fragrant.
Sweat (don’t brown) Your Onion and Garlic
There’s nothing wrong with a nicely caramelised onion, but for curries, it’s best not to let them brown. The same goes for your garlic – even slightly burnt garlic can be incredibly bitter. Keep in mind you’ll be frying your onions with your spices, so it can be difficult to tell if they’re picking up too much colour, so keep that heat gentle.
Tomatoes for Sweetness and Tang!
Tomatoes are perfect for adding a delicate sweetness and tang to curries. They also add some moisture at this important stage, which can help to deglaze the pan. If your tomatoes aren’t super juicy, add a splash of water too. If your tomatoes are out of season, add a pinch of sugar to make up for the lost sweetness.
Add Your Squash (at the right time!)
Don’t be too eager to add your squash to the pan. Yes, it has to cook and this is the longest part of the process, but it’s also essential we let our tomatoes cook properly. Raw tomatoes in curry can make things too tangy and sharp instead of sweet. Only add the squash when the tomatoes have lost their shape.
Let the Sauce Reduce
Once your squash and vegetable stock are in the pan, it’s time to be a little more hands-off! We need this sauce to reduce and for the squash to cook through. Cover with a lid and reduce to simmer. The process should take between 10-15 minutes but be sure to check your chunks of squash often, so they don’t overcook.
In With The Coconut Milk
Now your sauce is nice and reduced, it’s time to get that coconut milk involved! Don’t use coconut milk from a carton – that’s a different, much thinner product. Give everything a stir and add your fresh coriander.
Serve and Enjoy!
I like to serve mine with some flaked almonds on top, for extra crunch and nuttiness! Finish with an extra little drizzle of coconut milk and you’re ready to go!