Kabocha Squash Coconut Curry

Kabocha Squash Curry

Ready to eat something healthy and nourishing after a week of holiday indulgence?  Me too!  I actually made this curry while we were in Slovenia this fall, but I’ve been craving warm, healthful soups in this cold weather and was reminded of this recipe.  The robust, spicy flavor and loads of healthful ingredients make this soup a perfect choice for chilly winter nights.

Kabocha Squash Coconut Curry

Kabocha Squash Coconut Curry Ingredients (serves 4):

1 kabocha squash, washed, seeded, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes (can substitute butternut, acorn or delicata squash, if kabocha is not available)
1 cup dry chick peas, or 1 can cooked chick peas
2 red onions, diced
4 medium carrots, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minched
1 inch diced and peeled ginger
2 cans/3 cups of coconut milk
1 cup mild curry paste (I like Patak’s)
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Kabocha Squash Coconut Curry

Cover the dry chick peas with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for at least an hour while preparing the rest of the curry ingredients.  You can skip this step if you’re using canned chick peas.

Kabocha Squash Coconut Curry

Saute the diced onions, garlic, and ginger in olive oil while you chop the squash.  Be sure to save the squash seeds!  I like to roast them with curry powder, smoked paprika, and salt.

Add the squash and carrots to the pan and saute for 15 minutes.  You’ll notice that I left the skin on the kabocha squash.  I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – it really doesn’t change the flavor or texture to leave the skin on squash.  Plus it saves on prep time and boosts the fiber intake from the meal.

Kabocha Squash Coconut Curry

Drain the chickpeas (or rinse if using canned) and add them to the saute along with the coconut milk. Mix in the curry paste, turn down the heat, and simmer on low for 30 minutes.  Like many soups, this is one of those dishes that tastes better the longer it cooks.  If you have time, let it simmer away for an hour or so – the flavor will intensify as it cooks.

Kabocha Squash Coconut Curry

Serve hot and enjoy!  This curry is delicious with chopped fresh cilantro and/or a squeeze of fresh lime juice on top.  A dollop of plain yogurt is also a nice addition if you’re looking to tone down the spice.

Kabocha Squash Coconut Curry

There are so many reasons to love this dish.  First, it tastes amazing – full of Indian flavors and a wonderful balance of spicy and sweet.  Second, it’s vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, and filled with superfoods.  Third, it provides lean protein (chickpeas), orange vegetables bursting with beta-carotene (squash and carrots), healthy fats (coconut milk), and anti-inflammatory spices (curry paste).  So eat up!

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