This is a very mild curry, but you can jazz it up with extra chilli and spices such as cumin and coriander seeds. It can be paired with steamed rice or couscous as the main component of a meal, or served as the vegetable side alongside steamed fish, lamb chops or a roast chicken. Pumpkin, celeriac and even potatoes make delicious alternatives if you opt not to use butternut squash.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1kg butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into large chunks
4 green cardamoms (or ⅛ tsp ground cardamom or ground cinnamon)
2 red capsicums, quartered and deseeded
3 tomatoes, quartered
1 red chilli (more or less to taste)
3 cloves garlic, peeled
1 thumb ginger, peeled and sliced
3 tbsp tomato paste
½ tsp salt
4 tbsp water
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 portobello mushrooms, quartered
400g spinach, washed and stalks removed
250ml plain yoghurt
Coriander, to garnish
Boil or steam the butternut until it is half cooked – it should have some resistance when you push a knife through. Then, bash the cardamoms and pull the seeds out from the green husks (it may seem fiddly, but the flavour is worth it). Puree the red peppers, tomatoes, chilli, garlic, ginger and tomato paste in a blender along with the salt and water. Pour the puree into a wide pan with the oil and the cardamom seeds (or ground cardamom or cinnamon) and bring to the boil, stirring frequently. It will “plop” a bit so keep stirring, slowly. Cook for 1 minute.
Once it is warmed up, stir in the butternut squash. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer. Once the butternut is just about cooked, gently stir in the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes. Lastly, stir in the spinach until it wilts, then mix in the yoghurt and take off the heat. Garnish with coriander to finish.
This recipe is taken from Eating Well Everyday by Peter Gordon (Jacqui Small, £22).