This creamy curry is a favourite at home, full of hearty vegetables and warming spices. In this recipe I’ve chosen my favourite root vegetable to be the star of the show, the mighty butternut squash. To accompany the squash we’re using spinach, mushrooms and cauliflower, a fantastic vegetable for soaking up the flavour from the sauce.
The key to a good vegetarian curry is twofold: the all important spiced sauce and the way you prepare the veg you’re using. You want the vegetables to be a good size, and not too small. Cut thick pieces, and don’t overcook. This was a trick I learnt from my father who introduced me to the wonders of a good, homemade curry.
For the sauce, we’re using some incredible spices; turmeric, cumin, coriander, and garam masala. The spices are mixed in with coconut cream along with tomato paste and vegetable stock. With the added flavour from the garlic and onion this sauce is rather brilliant, if I do say so myself! Coconut cream comes in cans and is the condensed, creamier version of coconut milk I often use in noodle dishes – you can find it in most major supermarkets. Serve with brown or basmati rice and some mango chutney, if you like.
2 cups brown rice
1 butternut squash
1 large cauliflower
4 handfuls of spinach
1 punnet of mushrooms
1 white onion
1 clove of garlic
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp ground coriander
1 cup coconut cream
1/2 cup vegetable stock
2 tsp tomato paste
Let’s start by preparing our vegetables. Peel the squash and cut into sizeable chunks. Remove the leaves of the cauliflower, and separate into florets. Chop the mushrooms in quarters, and wash the spinach.
Next put the rice onto boil. Simply add 2 cups of brown rice to a pan with 4 cups of water. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer. Keep your eye on the rice as it cooks, adding more water if needed, and stirring often to make sure the rice doesn’t stick to the base of the pan.
Now the rice is on: steam the squash and cauliflower until they start to soften, about 15 minutes, make sure you don’t overcook.
Whilst the vegetables steam let’s chop the onion and crush the garlic. In a deep pan add a drizzle of olive oil before adding your onion and sauté until the onions soften and start to golden, add in the mushrooms and continue to cook until they are soft. At this point add in the crushed garlic, continue to fry for a minute.
Now add in the spices: turmeric, cumin, garam masala and coriander. Keep stirring. Next add in the cup of coconut cream, tomato paste and vegetable stock. Keep on a simmer and don’t bring to the boil.
Once the vegetables are steamed add them to the sauce along with the spinach. Keep on a simmer for 10 minutes before serving with an optional squeeze of lime!