Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Butternut Squash Curry

Let's take a break from pumpkin. We're not breaking up, we're just taking some time apart to explore other orange autumn gourds. Is that cool? Okay, great!

Did I mention I love orange? When I was younger, I loved red but red was an angry color (#ariesproblems) so I pretended it was both red and silver which made it way cooler (and matched my sneakers) but really, yes, I love fire colors (#ariesproblemsstill) which happen to be autumn colors. That perfect red-orange of the fall leaves makes me smile like woah. What's even more beautiful about it is it's soooo hard to capture. Even if you paint it or photograph it, it's just not he same. I think Peeta and I would get along (this is the part where I reveal I'm a nerd who memorized that part where he's like "my favorite color is orange, not like Effie's hair but like sunset". Magical).

Squash has that orange color that gets us all happy but it's more of a complimentary orange to the leaves. I'm a big fan of butternut squash soup although it's fairly work-intensive. This curry turned out to be a lot of chopping but otherwise pretty low maintenance. I'm a fan.

Initially, I assumed I would need to cook the squash and then scoop out the cooked parts for this curry. Apparently, you can cook and eat the rind! Whaaaat, minus 2 hours of work, bam. That's not to say it's not challenging to chop the raw squash. I'm pretty sure I got a blister.

The onions and garlic and cilantro are chopped up first and set to cook in a big pot with oil. I finally learned the proper way to chop cilantro (thank you Barefoot Contessa on Saturday mornings). Instead of chopping the leaves and what not like you normally would (you know what I mean), you scrape the leaves off by using your knife in a downward motion along the stalks. This strips away the leaves without the stalks. Fabulous!

While the onions etc. are cooking, we chop the squash. Perhaps chop some squash before starting to cook the onions because it takes some time. The pot sounded angry, like feed me, so I quickly added some liquid to that bad boy in the form of water, coconut milk and then the squash. Chickpeas (drained) and some chopped spinach fortify this curry. Like it needed to be any better.

Don't forget the curry! I don't know why but when I make red curry dishes, they're significantly less spicy than red curry dishes at restaurants. So I added a healthy amount of curry, let it cook a bit, taste tested and added some sambal oelek (that spicy stuff from this carrot soup last year). Just for some extra kick.

Once all that chopping is done, it's easy clean up and rice cooker set up. Everything comes together in a bowl and I ended up discarding some of the liquid as the curry was a bit soupy. It should be a little liquidy but drowning the rice.

I couldn't even tell that the rind had stayed on the squash. I wonder if it's like bread where all the vitamins are in the crust. Let's go with yes so we can say this was extra packed with vitamins (because I think it was).

Perfect for lunch in the park or dinner in the warmth of your home.


  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bunch of cilantro
  • 1 can of chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 can of coconut milk
  • 2 cups of water (less if you want a thicker curry)
  • 1 teaspoon curry paste
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon of sambal oelek

  1. I recommend chopping everything at once and setting aside. Chop your butternut squash so it's in small pieces (the original recipe said chickpea sized but it's based on your preference). Dice the onion and shear the cilantro leaves from the stem before chopping. Also dice your garlic.
  2. Add the onion, garlic and cilantro to a medium pot with the oil. Allow the ingredients to cook and sweat until the onion is somewhat translucent.
  3. Add the coconut milk and water to the pot. 
  4. Next, add the squash, drained chickpeas, and spices (curry paste and sambal oelek).
  5. Allow the mixture to come to a low boil. Then reduce the heat and cover to cook completely.
  6. While the mixture cooks, you can make your rice according to the instructions. 
  7. The curry will be done in about 30 minutes but you can test it by checking if the squash is tender and easily speared with a fork.
  8. Serve the curry over rice (or eat like a soup). 

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