Kabocha Squash Curry

When life hands me kabocha squash, I make curry. This squash roasts beautifully and tends to be as sweet or sweeter than a butternut squash. And while it's amazing in any number of sweet and dessert dishes, curry gives it a chance to play off the heat in the spice blend to give you a complex flavor that's simply out of this world.

While there are a lot of ingredients in this dish, it comes together quickly so you can get dinner on the table in about a half hour. You can use just about any kind of stewed, chopped, or diced tomatoes - canned or not. The coconut milk makes it creamy while leaving it dairy free and vegan, but you can use heavy cream if you have that on hand and it's not an issue for you. Any hearty green will work in place of the spinach or you can omit it entirely if you prefer.

I like to serve this curry with hot buttered naan, but it's also lovely over steamed rice. Pick what works for you and remember, like soups and stews, curry is excellent as leftovers and often more delicious on day two or three. Enjoy!

Kabocha Squash Curry

  • 2 T. olive oil
  • ½ T. ground cumin
  • 1 T. garam masala
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • ½ tsp. chilli powder
  • 3-4 cloves garlic - minced
  • 1 yellow onion - chopped
  • 1 kambocha squash - seeded, roasted, and scooped from its skin
  • 1 can chickpeas - drained and rinsed
  • 1 can fire-roasted chopped tomatoes
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 2 c. fresh spinach
  • 1 c. coarsely chopped almonds
  • 1 c. finely chopped arugula or cilantro
  • 1-2 T. chili crisp
  • Yogurt, for serving

In a large sauté pan or stock pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add spices (ground cumin through chili powder), garlic, and onion to the pan and cook until the onions and garlic are soft and fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the roasted squash, chopped tomatoes with juice, and the drained chickpeas into the pan and stir well. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes, until the the flavors are blended and the squash forms the base of the curry sauce.

Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the spinach. Cover with a lid and let the spinach wilt into the curry.

Stir the almonds, chopped greens, and chili crisp together to form a yummy condiment to serve on top of the curry after being ladled into bowls. Add yogurt if desired.

  • Yields: 4-6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes