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Winter Squash & Chickpea Curry

Winter Squash Curry

Is it too much of a cliche to jump from bread pudding and cinnamon knots to a veggie-heavy curry in the early days of January? I crave stewy, spicy things after so many weeks (OK, months) of butter cookies and Toblerone. And I inevitably get all excited about the piles of gnarly squash over the winter and buy more than I get around to actually using. Sometimes it’s because I go for the bumpiest beasts, the ones you have to tackle with a cleaver to access the insides of. Sure, you can go for smooth-skinned butternut with thick necks, or even buy a bag of squash cubes – in fact, they work extra well here, cooking down quickly into a curry. But if you have a bit of a monster on your hands, one that refuses to be peeled, simply hack it into pieces and roast them in the oven until the flesh is tender enough to scoop or peel away from the skin and throw into the pot. Yes, a microwave works just fine for this too.

Winter squash curry 3

I love the combination of chickpeas and squash, and chickpeas and curry, and squash and curry. Usually with curries I’ll toss in some sort of tomato product – it might be a whole tomato I previously tossed into my freezer, or the end of a jar of crushed tomatoes in my fridge, or a squeeze of tomato paste (I love the tubes). It’s a pretty fast meal to pull together, relatively speaking – but if you have some extra time to make it a day in advance, it will improve with age.

Winter squash curry 4

Happy New Year, everyone!

Winter squash and chickpea curry
Winter squash and chickpea curry

Winter Squash & Chickpea Curry

Recipe link

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January 4, 2018

Ingredients

canola or olive oil or ghee, for cooking

1 onion, peeled, halved and thinly sliced

1/4 cup chopped cilantro stems (plus some leaves to toss on top)

4 garlic cloves, crushed

1 Tbsp grated ginger

1 small winter squash (such as butternut or hubbard), peeled and cubed

1 19 oz (540 mL) can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1-2 Tbsp tomato paste (or a tomato or two, chopped)

1 Tbsp curry paste

1 tsp cumin

salt, to taste

1/2 cup coconut milk, cream or sour cream (optional)

a big handful of fresh spinach, chard or kale, torn or chopped

Directions

1Set a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add a drizzle of oil or blob of ghee and sauté the onion for 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Add the cilantro (or leave it out), garlic and ginger and cook for another minute.

2

3Add the squash and chickpeas along with the tomato paste, curry paste, cumin and salt and cook, stirring, for a minute or two. Add the coconut milk or cream, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes or until the squash is tender. Add a splash of water as it cooks if the mixture seems dry.

4

5Stir in the spinach and cook for a minute, just until it wilts. Serve immediately (topped with extra cilantro, if you like) or cool and refrigerate overnight to reheat the next day. Serves 4.

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4 comments on “Winter Squash & Chickpea Curry

  1. Jennifer
    January 5, 2018 at 7:35 am

    I have a similar version of this recipe and love it. it’s a real “comfort food” meal. If I have leftovers, I stash and freeze in one cup containers. One cup of curry combined with one cup of broth (chicken or vegetable) makes a great bowl of soup for lunch.

  2. Cathy Norrie
    January 5, 2018 at 9:17 am

    Sounds delish! I do a lot of cooking but rarely do I make curry (much to my husband’s dismay). Maybe this is the recipe I should start with? What curry paste do you use, Julie? I live really close to the Silk Road Spice Shop – would they have something I could use?

  3. Ian
    January 6, 2018 at 10:02 am

    Happy New Year to you is well. Took my tree down today and the last bits of the holidays are all boxed away. This curry dish looks like a great dinner to enjoy after all the work.Thanks for what looks like another delicious recipe.

  4. Cathy Norrie
    January 10, 2018 at 1:11 am

    Update:
    Made it; loved it! Did my own curry spice mixture and it was great except I would bump the spice up a notch next time!

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