Coconut & chilli butternut squash

IMG_9097It’s butternut and pumpkin season and as ever I am on the look-out for new ways to cook this, one of my favourite winter vegetables. Now we’re back to dining at home or our with each other, all the more reason for inventiveness. Orange in colour, butternut and squashes are one of those superfoods that are good for immunity and all-round health. They are also high in potassium which is good for your heart and blood pressure, its special fibre helps keep blood sugar low as well.

This is a Goan dish and so easy to make. The chilli and coriander/coconut mix is so yummy!You could also substitute chicken thighs for the squash if you’re feeling a hearing for meat!

Serves 2 as a main

  • 1 medium butternut or other squash
  • rapeseed or coconut oil
  • 1 large brown onion thinly sliced
  • large handful of coriander
  • large thumb of ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 green chillies, roughly chopped (I leave seeds in)
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 x 400 ml tin of coconut


First halve the squash and scoop out seeds. Then slice into 1 cm crescents and put in a mixing bowl with the oil and salt & pepper. Give it a good mix. You can leave this for as long as you want.

Place on a tray lined with baking paper or foil (I use the double-sided one, half paper and and foil – it’s also recyclable). Put in an oven heated to 180C and roast for 30-45 minutes, until is golden brown and caramelised. You can then set this aside until you are ready.

Meanwhile fry the onion in a small pan until its golden brown and crispy. Set on one side as this is the garnish.

To make the sauce, place the coriander, chilli, garlic, ginger, cumin, cinnamon and lemon juice into a blender and give it a whizz. Once it has started to break down add the coconut milk – sometimes I dont add the whole tin, and put a bit of water in as it can be very rich so I prefer to use a low-calorie one.

Put this mixture into a wok and bring to the boil, turn dow the heat and simmer for 5 minutes or so. Then add the squash and let it all heat through.

Serve with rice and the onion slices sprinkled on top. (Sometimes I dont do this as I’m in a hurry.)

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