Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry

Featured in the Honolulu Star-Advertiser on May 31, 2017.



Butternut Squash and Coconut Curry

  • 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 3 tablespoons cooking oil
  • 1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 1 jalapeno chile, chopped, seeds removed
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric or 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh turmeric, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
  • 2 small, dried red chilies (optional)
  • 1 medium (roughly 2 1/2 pound) butternut squash, peeled and diced into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon tamarind paste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can coconut milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • Chinese parsley, for garnish


  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, toast coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds; cool.
  2. Grind seeds in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.
  3. Warm oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  4. Add shallot, garlic, and ginger.
  5. Cook, stirring frequently, until shallots are soft and translucent.
  6. Add chile, turmeric, optional cayenne and small dried red chilies, and spices and stir, cooking for 2-3 minutes.
  7. Add squash, tamarind paste, coconut milk, water, and salt.
  8. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for about 45 minutes until squash is tender and just beginning to break down.
  9. The squash will thicken the curry as it cooks down.
  10. Garnish with Chinese parsley and serve with rice or quinoa.

Makes 6 servings.

Approximate Nutrient Analysis per serving (including 1 teaspoon salt only):
270 calories, 22 g fat, 13 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 400 mg sodium, 22 g carbohydrate, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 3 g protein


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