This creamy and fragrant chickpea and butternut squash curry is packed with flavour and straightforward to make with step-by-step photos. Make it as mild or as spicy as you like!
Ginger, lemongrass, lime, chilli, coriander.... you know by just reading the ingredients list that this curry is going to be packed with flavour, and it doesn't disappoint.
This is the sort of weeknight supper you look forward to all day, whilst also special enough to serve to guests for a fabulous, fragrant feast. It takes just over half an hour to make so you're not slaving in the kitchen for hours, but is properly 'cooked from scratch' - no shop-bought curry pastes in sight!
Serves 3... that's a bit unusual isn't it? Well I can't abide recipes that ask you to add two thirds of a tin of coconut milk or chickpeas, leaving little odds and ends in pots in the fridge, not really enough to do anything substantial with, and all too likely to be wasted. So I based my quantities around using 1 tin of coconut milk and 1 tin of chickpeas and worked from there.
It was a really good portion size for two of us, with an extra single portion for my lunch the following day. Serving 4 would be a bit of a stretch, and it is too much for two. That's how I like recipes, and I hope you find it helpful too.
What you need to make your Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry
Garlic cloves I do find there's a difference in taste between using proper garlic cloves and the 'lazy' stuff in a jar. Don't get me wrong, I use both all the time. I suppose I would say (for this and all my recipes), if you have the time to peel and crush, use fresh garlic, but if you're in a hurry and can compromise just a little on flavour, use ready-chopped garlic.
Ginger As above - some days I like to peel and grate fresh ginger, (I always use the end of a teaspoon to peel ginger - have you tried it?). But some days I use ready-chopped ginger from a jar instead. Do whichever you need to!
Chillis I've used two birds-eye chillis in the recipe, which are almost impossible to de-seed so they really do pack a punch of heat. You know your palate better than me - use just one for a milder heat, or a big, juicy red chilli de-seeded which gives out very little heat but lots of flavour. Or no chillis at all if that's the way you like it!
Lemongrass I don't often seem to find fresh lemongrass in supermarkets, so this squeezy paste is a great substitute. If you can get hold of the real thing, peel off the tough outer layers then finely slice. It will taste and smell amazing!
Butternut Squash 450g is roughly half a standard-size squash so I tend to use the slimmer end as it is quicker and easier to peel and chop into cubes. To use up the bulbous, seedy end I scoop out the seeds, rub with oil and roast in its skin for 30 minutes or so whenever I have the oven on for something else, then scoop out and use in soups or salads over the coming week.
Variations on your Chickpea & Squash Curry
Make it quicker.... I've suggested above a number of shortcuts with jars or tubes of ready-chopped ginger, garlic and lemongrass. But if you're really in a hurry, you could just use 2 tbsp of Thai Green Curry paste instead. Just check the ingredients as some contain fish paste, so make sure it is vegan.
Make it milder... As suggested above, you can swap the birds eye chillis for just one big fat red chilli, remove the seeds and the heat will be almost negligible. Or leave the chilli out altogether!
Change the flavours... For a curry based on more Indian than Thai flavours, leave out the lemongrass and lime, and swap for 2 tsp garam masala or curry powder.
Can I freeze my Chickpea & Butternut Squash Curry?
Yes! This curry freezes really well, so you make up a double batch whilst you're at it and freeze in individual portions.
Leave out the coriander leaves if you're freezing it, as they might turn a little slimy when defrosted, but everything else will be absolutely fine. Sometimes you need to add a little liquid to the defrosted curry if it has become too thick, so if you defrost in a frying pan you can just add a little water or lime juice until you have the right consistency of creamy sauce.
What else can I make with chickpeas?
If you're looking for some more interesting vegan recipes featuring chickpeas as the star of the show, how about trying:
- Swedish-style Vegan Meatballs
- Harissa-Roasted Chickpeas with Aubergine
- Curried Chickpeas with Spinach
- Takeaway-style Vegan Korma
... or these recipes from blogging friends:
- Camilla's Smokey Maple Roasted Chickpeas from Fab Food 4 All
- Choclette's Black Chickpea & Red Quinoa Burgers from Tin & Thyme
- Chloe's Hummus from Feast Glorious Feast
For more quick and easy vegan recipes take a look at my latest book Vegan in 15.
"Brilliant! Chock full of easy recipes and great tips and advice" Hello! Magazine
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Chickpea and Butternut Squash Curry
- 2 tbsp rapeseed or sunflower oil
- 1 onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 tbsp ginger (either fresh grated or ready-chopped from a jar)
- 1 tsp ground turmeric
- small bunch fresh coriander
- 2 tsp lemongrass paste (or fresh lemongrass, tough outer layers removed then finely sliced)
- 1-2 birds eye chillis (or other red chillis)
- 1 lime
- 450 g butternut squash (about half a standard-size squash)
- 400 g tinned chickpeas
- 250 ml vegetable stock
- 400 ml coconut milk (tinned)
- Heat the oil in a large, lidded frying pan or casserole dish.
- Peel and finely slice the onion and add to the pan. Peel and crush the garlic cloves, and add to the pan along with the ginger. Fry over a gentle heat for a minute or two.
- Separate the leaves from the stalks of the coriander. Set aside the leaves for later, and finely chop the stalks.
- Add the turmeric, coriander stalks, lemongrass, finely sliced chillis and the zest of the lime to the pan and fry for a minute or two, still over a gentle heat.
- Peel the butternut squash and cut into 1cm(ish) cubes. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Add both the chickpeas and squash to the pan, followed by the vegetable stock. Cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes until the squash is almost cooked through.
- Add the coconut milk, and season well with salt, then leave uncovered and simmer for a further 8-10 minutes until the sauce has reduced and the squash is completely cooked.
- Add the juice of half the lime, finely chop the coriander leaves and stir through, then taste and add more salt or lime juice if required. Serve with fluffy rice.
I'm linking this post with the CookBlogShare blogging challenge, hosted this week by Peachicks' Bakery