Ladies and gentlemen, I present you with my new favorite curry recipe.
This golden, hearty bowl is so quick and easy to make. It’s ideal for weeknight suppers, for cooking in batches, and for freezing–in other words, all of the stuff I’ve been highlighting in my menu plan Monday posts.
This curry is a slight departure for me in that it’s tomato-free, which means its sweeter and less acidic than, say, my chickpea and eggplant curry. A touch of cinnamon and a handful golden raisins highlights the natural sweetness of the recipe, and the raisins add texture, too. It’s a perfect curry recipe for fall and winter.
When I originally whipped this recipe up, Steven and I enjoyed it without any greens mixed in. Steven’s not a fan of cooked leafy greens–it’s a texture thing, he says–though he loves them raw. So I tend to add leafy greens to our meals in the form of salads or by pureeing them up into soups. Sometimes when I’m heating up curry or stew leftovers for myself, I’ll stir some cooked greens in, and that’s what I did when I enjoyed these curry leftovers yesterday. Chopped, frozen kale–which I allowed to thaw directly in the curry as I heated it on the stovetop, was a great addition and a no-fuss way to make my lunch a little more nutritious.
I’ve given you the option of preparing the recipe with or without some added greens. Either way, it’s all good.
Golden Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry
- 2 teaspoons grapeseed, melted coconut, or safflower oil
- 1 white or yellow onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 lbs peeled and cubed butternut squash or pumpkin
- 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
- 3 cups chickpeas, or 2 cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- Heaping 1/3 cup golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1-2 cups frozen chopped spinach or kale, defrosted and excess water drained out, or 2-3 cups fresh baby spinach (optional)
- 3-4 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa, for serving (optional)
- Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or a large pot. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Cook the onions for 7 minutes, or until they're very tender and browning lightly. Add a few tablespoons of water as needed to prevent sticking. Add the garlic and ginger. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is very fragrant. Add the curry, turmeric, garam masala, cinnamon, salt, and black pepper. Give everything a good stir.
- Add the squash and 2 cups of the vegetable broth. Bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Turn off the heat. Use an immersion blender to blend the soup about halfway, so that there are still chunks of butternut squash, but some of the squash has been turned into a thick puree. Alternately, you can transfer half of the mixture to a standing blender, blend, and return it to the pot.
- Stir in the chickpeas, raisins, lime juice, and an additional 1/2 cup broth (or enough to create a thick but easy-to-stir stew). Bring the curry to a gentle simmer again. If you're adding greens, stir them in now and allow them to wilt completely. Check seasonings and adjust to taste. Serve with cooked grains.
I kept the added broth in this recipe to a minimum, so that the curry would have the super hearty, thick texture you see in my photos. If you’d prefer the curry to be more like a soup, though, you could use up to a whole four cups of broth. Recipes like this are forgiving and easy to adjust, so don’t be afraid to make it your own! The use of different beans in place of chickpeas (such as navy beans or aduki beans) would be a nice way to change it up.
I’m about halfway through my first week of exams for this semester of my master’s program, and so far, so good. I’m never able to rightly predict my performance until I get results back, but I’ve been studying calmly, and I’ve been avoiding my usual trap of over-reviewing and under-sleeping.
Speaking of this, it’s about time for me to head up to campus for my long day of classes, so I’ll wish you all a great remainder of this hump day. I hope you love the curry!