The inspiration for this recipe unashamedly came from ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’. Every Boxing Day Bridget’s mother hosts a Christmas turkey curry buffet. It got me thinking… why don’t I do that! And so this butternut squash curry was born. A sauce of creamy spiced coconut dressing cubes of sweet roasted butternut squash, kale and chestnuts for a christmassy twist. Bridget would be proud.
You may be a little skeptical of the use of chestnuts in this recipe, but please don’t knock it til you’ve tried it. I know they may be a little old fashioned but I am determined to make them cool again! Chestnuts have such a wonderfully satisfying texture which works so well in this butternut squash curry. It’s the perfect dish if you are trying to eat less meat.
My butternut squash curry is jam packed full of nutrients and is a great way to get your 5-a-day around the festive period. Butternut squash is a fab source of fibre and vitamins including A, C, E and B. It contains essential minerals calcium, magnesium and zinc as well as the antioxidant beta-carotene which may help you fight off that winter cold.
Although this butternut squash curry may have a few more steps than my usual recipes, I promise you it is SO worth it. Roasting the squash first gives the most gorgeous caramelised flavour. Some things you just can’t compromise on…
It may not be traditional but it is damn good. Don’t limit your butternut squash curry making just to christmas time though. Packaged chestnuts are available all year round and add a little somethin’ somethin’ to the nation’s favourite dish. If you make this please let me know by sending me a picture on instagram @georgieeatsuk, or leaving me a comment down below. Keep Smiling!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH & CHESTNUT CURRY
Sweet roasted butternut squash, earthy chestnuts and tender kale veiled in a luscious creamy coconut sauce. This satisfying veggie curry is sure to become a new family favourite! Vegan, GF & healthy.
- 1 large butternut squash (approx 1.2-1.4kg)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 6 cm chunk fresh ginger peeled & grated
- 3 cloves garlic peeled & crushed
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 100 g creamed coconut
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp tamari / soy sauce
- 1 tbsp honey / maple syrup
- 150 g roasted chestnuts
- 100 g kale hard stems removed
- Sea salt + freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 heaped tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp chilli flakes
- 350 g brown rice boiled
- Handful cashew nuts lightly toasted
- Handful fresh corriander chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°c fan/200°c/400°f.
Peel, deseed and chop the butternut squash into 3cm chunks and place them on a baking tray. Drizzle the squash with 1 tbsp of olive oil and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Give everything a mix then roast in the oven for 35 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile heat the remaining olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat and add the onion and ginger to fry for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until slightly caramelised and soft. Add the garlic and spice mix and continue to fry for another 2 minutes or until the spices release their fragrance.
Add the vegetable stock and creamed coconut into the pan. Stir until the cream coconut has melted then bring the pan to the boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until the sauce has reduced by a 3rd.
Transfer the reduced sauce into blender and add 1/4 of the roasted butternut squash. Blend until smooth then return the sauce back into the pan.
Add the remaining butternut squash, white wine vinegar, tamari/soy sauce, honey/maple syrup, chestnuts and kale into the pan and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5-10 minutes or until the kale is tender. If you find your sauce has become a little thick here, you can stir in a splash of water.
To serve, ladle the piping hot curry over brown rice and top with a sprinkle of coriander and toasted cashew nuts.
Leftovers of this butternut squash curry will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. Just allow the curry to cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
You can of course roast and peel the chestnuts yourself, but for ease I love and would recommend these ones.
I love to serve this curry alongside a pot of chilli flakes for people to adjust the spice themselves. If you are extra sensitive to heat I would start with only a 1/2 tsp of chilli flakes in the spice mix and go from there.
A few ingredient notes:
- To make my vegetable stock I use 1 stock cube dissolved in boiling water. Personally I like the Kallo Very Low Salt Stock Cubes as they do not contain any added flavourings or preservatives.
- If you would prefer to use coconut milk instead of creamed coconut, you can do this by substituting the creamed coconut with a 400ml tin of coconut milk and using only 100ml of vegetable stock.
- Watch out for any added sugars, preservatives or E-numbers in your tamari or soy sauce. The ingredient list should be very short and simple.
- If you can find it, try to use raw honey as it is less processed. If using maple syrup make sure it is 100% maple syrup and not maple ‘flavoured’ syrup. You could also use agave nectar if you prefer.
If you love creamy curries then you will LOVE my lentil and spinach coconut curry too!