Butternut Squash Chickpea and Spinach Curry

Looking at the ingredients list at first glance may seem like this is a bit too much faffing about for your liking, but I think you'll find the end result is so worth it.

Panch Phoran is a bland of a few simple spices and doesn't require grinding - the spices are kept whole so it can be made very easily in just one minute.  Fantastic to keep in the store cupboard and will make a huge difference to any Indian style curry you make. You can see in a previous post of mine just how easy it is to make Panch Phoran - also known as Indian Five-spice.

Vegetable Curry

The butternut adds lovely vibrant colour and a slightly sweet taste to this richly spiced curry.  Be assured that the word 'spiced' does not actually mean this is extra hot (as in spicy) this is just a lovely warming delicious and very tasty curry.  That said if you do want it hotter just add more chilli.

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To serve 2 greedy or 4 not so greedy people you will need:
sunflower or vegetable oil 
1 large onion - peeled and chopped to small dice
2 fat cloves of garlic - peeled and finely chopped
fresh ginger - peeled and finely chopped to make 1 teaspoon

3/4 teaspoon of Panch Phoran (a blend of equal quantities of fenugeek seeds, nigella seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds and black mustard seeds)  known as Bengali Five-Spice
a pinch of dried chilli flakes
1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
1 teaspoon of garam masala
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf

Other bits and bobs:
1 medium butternut squash washed but not peeled - cut in half across the middle and wrap the base in cling film then into the fridge for another day.  Quarter the neck part only and slice into 1 cm chunks
200ml water
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas - drained
1 x 400g tin of good quality plum tomatoes - including their juice
1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree (paste in the USA)
1 x 400g tin of chickpeas - drained
1x400g tin of tomatoes
two handfuls of prewashed baby spinach
a small bunch of fresh coriander - leaves only and chopped
salt to taste

How to do it:
Get all your ingredients and equipment ready since it makes the cooking so much easier.
In a large lidded frying pan heat a good glug or two of oil (about 2 tablespoons) and throw in the panch phoran and the chilli flakes- stirring and taking care it doesn't burn - cook for just a minute. 

Now add the turmeric, garam masala, ground cumin and the bay leaf.  Stir then add the onions, garlic and ginger stirring to coat in the lovely spices. 
Add 1 heaped tablespoon of tomato puree (paste in the USA) and cook for just one minute. 

Now add 200ml of water along with the tin of tomatoes including their juice and throw in the sliced butternut.

Pop the lid on and cook over a medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or until the butternut is tender.
Remove the lid and squish up the tomatoes then add the sugar along with the drained chickpeas - you can mush some of the chickpeas and butternut up too to create different textures.

Cook for another 10 minutes, throw in the spinach and give it 2 minutes to wilt. 
Stir well and have a taste and add salt if you think it needs it - adjust the spices adding more chilli flakes if you like it hot. Sprinkle over the chopped coriander and serve immediately with basmati rice and naan.

Squash Curry


  1. I like everything about this recipe - the colour, the thought of the aromas, the look of the final dish. Healthy and tasty. Bookmarked.

  2. This looks delicious. I love vegetarian curries.

  3. I love vegetable curries and I'm sure the spices make it really tasty


Thanks for taking the time to comment - much appreciated.

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