Butternut Squash Curry, Two Ways

For my cooking date with Nicole, I wanted to make something fun, different, and easily freezable. Because I have clipped out a million recipes from magazines, I went through them to see if anything jumped out on me. I will have to write a whole separate post on attempting to organize clipped recipes because my current disastrous pile isn’t doing me any favors.

While sorting through, I found the Sunset recipe for squash coconut curry and was intrigued that the recipe called for fresh curry leaves. On Saturday I popped by the Indian market near our house and picked some up; those suckers are pungent! The aroma was almost bitter but not altogether unpleasant. I made the recipe as written (with the exception of using butternut squash instead of pumpkin).

We ate the curry that night and it was bomb dig – creamy, curried deliciousness, no doubt due to the entire can of full fat coconut milk that I used. I wasn’t going to skimp! Check out the Sunset recipe, linked below. The results are freaking delicious.

But when I had another small butternut squash wasting away in my fridge and half a bag of curry leaves to use up, I decided to attempt a lower fat, higher protein, version of the curry. I’m happy to say I was successful. This dish is warm and comforting, and still surprisingly creamy. To meet somewhere in the middle, you could use half broth and half coconut milk so you’d still get that coconut flavor.

Butternut Squash Curry with Chickpeas
adapted from Sunset Magazine 


  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 3 teaspoons neutral oil, divided
  • 1 onion, halved and cut into half-moons
  • 1 green Serrano chili
  • 1 cinnamon stick (2 1/2 in. long)
  • 20 fresh curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 cup roasted cashews
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 cups cooked or 1 can chickpeas
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Juice from ½ lemon


  1. Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the butternut squash and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt. Brown the squash in the oil, turning occasionally eight to ten minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat second teaspoon of oil in the same pan and add the onions. Turn the heat down to medium or medium low, and cook the onion until golden, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add the chiles, cinnamon stick, and curry leaves to the onion. Cook until curry leaves are very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the cumin, curry powder, and remaining salt and cook about one minute or until spices are fragrant.
  4. Add the squash back to the pan, along with the chickpeas and the broth. Bring to a boil over high heat.
  5. Once boiling, reduce heat, cover and simmer until squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in the cashews, cilantro, lemon juice, and cayenne and simmer an additional five to ten minutes. Salt to taste.
  6. Serve over your favorite grain.

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