Sweet Squash Curry

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Inspired by a recent trip to Dishoom (24 hour daal to die for) I thought it was about time I shared my favourite curry recipe. The list of ingredients is a little long, but it’s worth it. Here is where it came from…


Every week I head down to The Russet in Hackney to pick up my sack of organic vegetables from Growing Communities. I wax lyrical about it to my friends and colleagues about how environmentally friendly I am, how conscientious I am, indeed, how ethical I am. I have become one of those people and I irritate myself.


The only way I know how to make up for it, is by cooking for people where hopefully they are too busy eating to listen to what I am saying.


I love getting a different variety each week (the tomatoes were glorious) and especially now the fruits of harvest-time are being reaped by the bucket load, there is always something new to try.


Squash and pumpkins come in all sorts of varieties. We’re used to our hourglass Butternut and Halloween carvers but what about the lesser known Kabocha or Turban squash. A few weeks ago, I was faced with a Delicata and Buttercup squash to deal with. I decided to make a sweet and gentle curry to transport me to an Indian Summer, away from drizzly Dalston.


I made this recipe because I get upset by recipes such as this one, which just calls for a couple of spoons of curry paste. My recipe is accidentally vegan and doesn’t take as long as a normal curry because you don’t have to wait for the meat to become tender. As with all curries, it is best eaten the day after it is made.

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Serves at least four people


Spice mix

1 heaped tspn mustard seed

1 heaped tspn coriander seed

1 tspn cumin seed

1 tspn black peppercorns

1 tspn hot chilli powder

1 tspn cinnamon

½ tspn ground nutmeg

½ tspn ground ginger

1 heaped tspn turmeric

5 large cardamom pods, seeds only, crushed

2 large star anise

1 heaped tspn sea salt


100ml ground nut oil

1 large white onion

5 large garlic cloves

1 large thumb ginger

½ red chilli

zest and juice of 2 limes

1 400g can of good chopped tomatoes

75g of creamed coconut

2 large cooking apples

5 tbspn of red lentils

¼ Buttercup squash

½ Delicata Squash

1 tbspn aubergine pickle

Lots of fresh coriander

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-       As with a lot of Asian recipes, it’s best to get all the ingredients prepared before the cooking begins. Start with the spice mix.

-       Dry fry the peppercorns, mustard, cumin and coriander seed. When they start hopping about the pan and smell fragrant, take off the heat and either grind in a pestle and mortar or spice grinder, depending on how fancy you are.

-       Add the chilli powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground ginger, turmeric, and seeds from the cardomom pods and give an extra blast so you have a mind-blowing mix.

-       Roughly chop the onion

-       Mince the garlic

-       Grate the ginger

-       Finely chop the chilli

-       Zest and juice the limes

-       Make the creamed coconut into coconut milk by adding enough boiling water to it so you have a little over a pint and stir well.

-       Peel and chop the apples but keep them in cold water to stop them going brown from oxidisation.

-       Peel and chop the squash into a bit larger than bite-size pieces.

-       Now it’s time.

-       Heat the oil in the largest pan you have.

-       Test to see if it’s hot enough by getting a little water on your fingers and flick into the oil. If it even hints at sizzling, the oil is hot enough.

-       Add the onions and turn the heat down. Sweat them for a good ten minutes and don’t be tempted to skimp on this bit.

-       Turn the heat up a touch and add the garlic, ginger, chilli and lime zest.

-       Stir for one minute.

-       Add your spices and fry for about three minutes.

-       Add the squash, star anise and salt.

-       Give everything a good stir.

-       When sizzling nicely, add the lentils. They make it thick and silky smooth.

-       Stir again and add the tomatoes, coconut milk and aubergine pickle.

-       Bring to a simmer and put the lid on the pan.

-       Check every ten minutes or so to make sure the curry isn’t sticking to the bottom of the pan.

-       After twenty minutes, add the apple chunks.

-       Cook for another fifteen minutes or so, or until the squash is tender to your liking.

-       If eating immediately, serve with some rice or bulgur wheat.

-       Either way, add the lime juice and fresh coriander moments before eating.

-       Sit back and enjoy this gentle, yet filling autumn warmer.







One Response to “Sweet Squash Curry”

  1. Senka says:


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