Butternut Squash Curry

Butternut Squash Curry Recipe

Updated: June 11, 2024, By Swasthi, Comments, Jump to Recipe

Make this Butternut Squash Curry for a delicious, hearty and comforting vegetarian meal. Diced butternut squash is cooked in an aromatic curry & lastly finished with garlic butter sauteed spinach. This curry is delicately spiced, with a touch of ground aromatic spices and fresh herbs for the classic flavors. Serve it over steamed Basmati Rice, flavored or seasoned rice or with flatbreads like Chapati, Tandoori Roti, Plain Parathas, Naan or bhakri.

Butternut Squash Curry



This Butternut Squash Curry is gluten-free and can be made vegan if you replace the butter with oil. Like many other curries, this dish is made with pantry staples like onions, tomatoes, ginger garlic and garam masala. To infuse another layer of flavors we optionally use cinnamon stick and curry leaves which complement the sweeter tones of the butternut squash.

To begin with we make a onion tomato masala and later simmer diced butternut squash and Black eyed peas together with a plant based milk (coconut/cashew milk/almond milk). You can instead use plain water to substitute plant milk & that’s how a lot of our everyday Indian curries are prepared.

This Butternut Squash Curry is inspired from several traditional South Indian pumpkin and black eyed peas curry and stew recipes. A lot of people also add amaranth leaves, while some use milk at the finishing stage and some use tamarind & jaggery for a sweet sour stew.

To keep the recipe simple, you may leave out the black eyed peas, spinach, curry leaves, cinnamon and plant based milk mentioned in the recipe. The curry still turns out delicious. Black eyed peas can also be replaced with chickpeas (white/black) or any other prepared/canned beans of choice.

More similar recipes
Red Lentil Curry
Curry Sauce
Tofu Curry
Chickpea Curry
Eggplant Bharta
Mushroom Pepper Fry

Step by step Photo Instructions

Preparation

1. Prepare the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup onion fine chopped (130 grams, 1 medium) 
  • 1 cup tomatoes (pureed or chopped or crushed)(200 grams, 2 medium) 
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (peeled & minced)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (peeled & minced)
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves (pat dry, you may leave out)

2. You will also need

  • 700 grams (1.5 pounds) butternut squash (4 cups peeled & diced to 1 inch)
  • 4 cups baby spinach (2 cups after chopping, optional)
  • 1 cup black eyed peas (optional or chickpeas/ beans of choice (boiled /canned))
butternut squash with spinach

3. Scoop out the seeds from the butternut squash cavity. Peel, slice and dice to 1 inch cubes. I use a large knife to peel it. You can also use a peeler if you want.

peel and chop butternut squash

4. Gather the spices:

  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder (or paprika)
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2 inch cinnamon piece (optional)

5. You will either use water or ¾ cup coconut milk (or 18 cashews or 3 tbsps almond flour or 1½ tbsps almond/cashew butter pureed with ¼ cup water. Mix another half cup water)

spices to make squash curry

Make Butternut Squash Curry

6. Heat 2 tablespoons oil on a low to medium flame. Add the Cinnamon stick and curry leaves.

7. Immediately add onions and saute until lightly golden for 5 mins. Then add the ginger garlic and saute for 1 minute.

8. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the ground spices and salt.

9. Add the tomatoes – chopped/pureed or crushed.

10. Stir and increase the heat to medium. Cook for a few minutes until the tomatoes lose the raw flavor, for 3 to 4 minutes.

onion tomato masala in a pan

11. Stir in the diced butternut squash.

butternut squash in onion tomato masala

12. Pour ½ cup water and plant milk. If you don’t use the beans, cut down the quantity of water.

plant milk to the curry

13. Add the boiled black eyed peas/chickpeas. Before adding the beans make sure they are soft cooked, yet hold their shape and not mushy. If using canned beans, drain the liquid, rinse them well with cold water and add here. To test if they are ready to go into the curry, press down with your finger, they should get mashed well. Mix well and cook covered until the squash is tender. During this process, I had to pour ¼ cup more hot water.

If your beans are too soft, add them later during the last 3 to 4minutes of cooking

black eyed peas in sauce

Saute Spinach

You can also leave out this step and add the spinach directly to the curry but the flavor of butter sauteed spinach is amazing in the dish. There is a huge difference between the two.

14. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a skillet, add 2 medium sliced garlic cloves. Fry for a minute on a medium heat. Add spinach (4 cups, 2 cups after chopping).

spinach in a skillet

15. Saute on a medium heat until wilted, for 3 to 4 minutes. Turn off the heat.

sauteed garlic butter spinach

16. When the butternut squash is fork tender, add the sauteed spinach. Turn off the heat.

add sauteed spinach

17. The curry is thick at this stage and it turns even more thicker after cooling down a bit. But if it is runny, you may mash some of the pieces. Taste test and add more salt if required.

texture of butternut squash curry

Squeeze some lemon juice if you want. Serve butternut squash curry over rice, quinoa, millets or with flatbreads Chapati, Tandoori Roti, Bhakri or Naan.

Butternut Squash Curry Recipe

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Recipe Card

Butternut Squash Curry Recipe

Butternut Squash Curry Recipe

5 from 27 votes
Indian Butternut Squash Curry with delicious garlic butter spinach. Serve it over rice or quinoa or with flatbreads like Chapati, roti, bhakri, tandoori roti or Naan
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For best results follow the step-by-step photos above the recipe card

Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time50 minutes
Servings4 to 5
AuthorSwasthi
Diet : Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients (US cup = 240ml )

  • 700 grams (1.5 pounds) butternut squash (peeled & diced to 1 inch)
  • 1 cup (130 grams, 1 medium) onion fine chopped
  • 1 cup (200 grams, 2 medium) tomatoes (pureed or chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon ginger (peeled & minced)
  • 1 tablespoon garlic (peeled & minced)
  • 4 cups baby spinach (chopped, optional)
  • 1 cup black eyed peas (optional or chickpeas/ beans of choice (boiled /canned))
  • 2 sprigs curry leaves (leave out if you don't have)
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 2 inch cinnamon piece (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon Kashmiri chili powder (or paprika)
  • teaspoon coriander powder
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoon garam masala (adjust to taste)
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon salt (more if required)
  • ¾ cup coconut milk (or water or 18 cashews or 1½ tbsps almond butter, read notes)
  • ½ cup water (use only as needed, lesser if you don't use beans)

To Saute Spinach (optional)

  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 2 medium garlic cloves sliced


Instructions

  • On a medium flame, heat oil in a deep pot or Dutch oven. Add cinnamon and curry leaves, followed by onions.
  • Saute until light golden for 5 mins and add ginger garlic. Saute for a minute and stir in all the ground spices – turmeric, salt, red chili powder, garam masala, coriander powder and cumin.
  • Stir in the tomatoes and cook until they lose the raw flavor and turn thick/mushy. Mix the butternut squash and pour water, followed by coconut or nut milk.
  • Cover and cook for 3 to 4 minutes and later add the black eyed peas. (Your black eyed peas should be soft/tender and get mashed easily when you press down. If they are undercooked they will remain the same and won't soften in the curry)
  • Cover and cook until fork tender but not mushy. Mine takes about 12 mins to cook but it may be different for you. If required you may add more hot water as it cooks.
  • Optional – Meanwhile, if using spinach, melt butter in a skillet on a medium flame and fry sliced garlic for a minute. Add the spinach and saute for 3 to 4 mins until wilted.
  • When the butternut squash is fork tender, add the sauteed garlic butter spinach and mix well.
  • Taste test to adjust salt and more garam masala if required. If the curry is runny, mash some of the butternut squash pieces with a spoon and mix well.
  • Serve butternut squash curry over rice/quinoa or with flatbreads chapati, roti, tandoori roti, naan or with bhakri.


Notes

  • This curry tastes delicious even without coconut milk. Use water instead.
  • You can also add the spinach directly to your curry during the last 2 mins of cooking. But sauteed garlic butter spinach is delicious & adds a lot of flavor to your curry.
  • Substitute coconut milk with plain water, stock or with 18 cashews or 3 tablespoons almond flour pureed with ¼ cup water. Later mix another ½ cup water to make ¾ cup plant milk. You can also use almond or cashew butter.
  • Black eyed peas used in this recipe can be replace with chickpeas or any other beans. They should be precooked to tender before adding to the curry. If using canned beans, rinse them well with cold water.

Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only, original recipe.

For best results follow my detailed step-by-step photo instructions and tips above the recipe card.

Video

NUTRITION INFO (estimation only)

Nutrition Facts
Butternut Squash Curry Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 344 Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Fat 20g31%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Trans Fat 0.1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 6g
Cholesterol 8mg3%
Sodium 667mg29%
Potassium 1202mg34%
Carbohydrates 39g13%
Fiber 9g38%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 8g16%
Vitamin A 22163IU443%
Vitamin C 77mg93%
Calcium 162mg16%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @SwasthisRecipes or tag #swasthisrecipes!

© Swasthi’s Recipes

Butternut Squash Curry Recipe

About Swasthi

I’m Swasthi Shreekanth, the recipe developer, food photographer & food writer behind Swasthi’s Recipes. My aim is to help you cook great Indian food with my time-tested recipes. After 2 decades of experience in practical Indian cooking I started this blog to help people cook better & more often at home. Whether you are a novice or an experienced cook I am sure Swasthi’s Recipes will assist you to enhance your cooking skills. More about me

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5 stars
Made this with black eyed peas, turned out great.Wonderful recipe, very simple instructions to follow. Thanks for sharing this

5 stars
Didn’t expect this curry to be this good. Tastes delicious! I used store bought spices that lack flavor so had to double them.

5 stars
Swasthi, Love this one! Another hit from your blog. I make it without onions and it still tastes delicious. Thank you

5 stars
This curry rocks! One of the best ways to use butternut squash and I am out of words to express! I can eat this every day. My cashew puree was a bit gritty so next time I would soak them ahead. Thank you

5 stars
Very good, I had all the ingredients except spinach/kale . Added 2 red bell peppers with roasted butternut. Also added 1 chile pepper and 1/2 tsp pepper seeds….was delicious!

5 stars
Absolutely delicious!

This recipe looks amazing! I would love a Instant pot version of this. Please like another reader below said, your recipes are truly inspiring but don’t have so much time to cook a elaborate meal often. Would appreciate if you could include the IP instructions for all your recipes. TIA

Made this last night for the in-laws. Absolutely incredible. Thanks!

5 stars
I made this curry in IP. It tasted delicious but it turned out to be a bharta with the lobia intact. My family loved it. Do you have a advice on the timing and liquid for IP? I am a regular reader of your website and use your recipes often. Would love the instant pot versions of all the existing recipes. Thank you.

5 stars
Followed the recipe exactly. Didn’t have beans or chickpeas so used air fried shrimp. It turned out top-notch.

5 stars
Yummy yummy and yummy!!! Couldn’t believe I made this curry and the spinach is amazing. I added a little tamarind concentrate at the finishing step. Will make this again and again. Thank you

5 stars
This curry was so delicious! Perfect comfort food on a crisp fall evening.

5 stars
Excellent and delicious!

5 stars
Very practical and delicious recipes. Thanks for sharing.