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Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry

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This wholesome and creamy butternut squash chickpea curry is packed with aromatic Indian flavors. 

It is great for a comfy, healthy, vegetarian weeknight meal. It only takes 35 minutes from start to finish. 

person squeezing lemon juice over butternut squash chickpea curry bowl

The flavor of the warming spices in this curry would give you comfort and a feel of the Indian feast at home. Just serve it with rice and naan or paratha and you will have a lovely gratifying meal.

Make it when you want to enjoy comfort food on a cosy evening, or simply when you want something satisfying and flavourful.

This delicious and easy to make butternut squash and chickpea curry is a great way to include veggies in your diet. This is ready in under 35 minutes when using cooked chickpeas and pre-diced butternut squash. 

I made this recipe with pre-cooked chickpeas but you can also make it with canned chickpeas. If you want to know how to soak and cook chickpeas, then you can check out this chickpea curry (chana masala) recipe shared earlier on My Ginger Garlic Kitchen.

a person holding a bowl of butternut squash chickpea curry

What is Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

This Indian Style Butternut Squash Chickpea Coconut Curry is full of delicious aromatic flavours and is suitable for gluten-free & dairy free, vegetarian, and vegan diets. 

Here hearty butternut squash and chickpea is simmered with spiced and creamy coconut sauce. It’s a super delicious vegetarian curry, and I bet that you won’t miss meat here! Just try it once and it will become your new favourite.

Person cutting butternut squash

This Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry:

✔ is super easy to make and tastes delicious 

✔ is great for weeknight dinner or weekend lunch

✔ is suitable for gluten-free vegan, plant-based diets

✔ it’s also freezer friendly and easy to make ahead

✔ is ready under 35 minutes

✔ is loaded with aromatic indian curry flavours

✔ is wholesome and healthy

✔ is freezer friendly, so can be stored for a long time

✔ is meal prep friendly, and can be made ahead of time

✔ makes great leftovers

✔ is easy yet exotic, and can be served to guests

✔ is well-balanced in spicy, sweet, and tangy flavors

✔ can be made with custom ingredients

Person removing seeds from butternut squash

How to Make Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

Making Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry from scratch is super easy.  Below is the step by step process for making butternut squash and chickpea curry:

Step 1: 

Heat oil, and toast cumin seeds, bay leaves, and cinnamon. Add onions and sauté for 2 minutes.

Step 2: 

Next add ginger garlic and sauté.

Step 3: 

After that add tomato puree and cook. 

Step 4: 

Add cubed butternut squash and cook with onion tomato mixture.

Step 5: 

Add some powder spices, and coconut milk. Cook covered.

Step 6: 

Add cooked chickpeas, coconut milk, cilantro leaves and cook.

Step 7: 

Lastly add lemon juice and maple syrup. Cook for 2 minutes. Done! 

For a full list of Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry ingredients and step-by-step photo and video instructions, please see the recipe box on this page. 

Overhead image of butternut squash chickpea curry

What are the ingredients needed for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

Butternut Squash: 

This is the star ingredient of this curry. It lends a creamy texture along with natural sweetness.

Chickpeas: 

It is the second most important ingredient of this curry. The wonderful thing about chickpeas is that they soak up all flavours of this spicy sauce and you end up tasting delicious no matter where they are used!

Coconut Milk: 

Adds rich and creamy flavours to this curry. Addition of coconut milk makes it feel decadent.

Crushed Ginger Garlic: 

Crushed ginger and garlic is added for added flavours and extra zing. You can also use homemade ginger-garlic paste or minced ginger-garlic.

Tomato Puree: 

Adds a nice tang and thick texture to this curry. I used store bought puree here, but you can also use homemade tomato puree or crushed tomatoes.

Powdered Spices: 

Spice powders such as turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, red chili powder, masala powder and garam masala powder are added for warm and cosy flavourings.

Whole Spices: 

Cumin, bay leaves and cinnamon stick lend fragrant flavours in this curry.

Maple Syrup: 

It adds a nice sweet flavour to the sauce which balances the spicy flavours. You can swap it with honey or other sweetener of your choice.

Cilantro leaves: 

Fresh cilantro leaves are added for texture and flavours, and some extra goodness and freshness.

Oil, Salt, and Lemon Juice 

Can I substitute sweet potatoes for butternut squash? 

Yes sure! If you are not a fan of butternut squash then you can replace it with sweet potatoes and follow the same recipe. You may need to adjust the cooking time when making Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry.

How to Meal Prep Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

To meal prep this curry, you can do a couple of steps in advance. Following are the things you could do in advance if you want this curry to get ready fast. 

The time taking and laborious task in this curry is cutting and cubing butternut squash. So if you want to save some time while cooking, then it is highly recommended to cut butternut squash ahead of time.

Also, if you are using pre cooked chickpeas from scratch like me, then I recommend cooking your chickpeas ahead of time. But if you are planning to use canned chickpeas then there is no need to cook chickpeas in advance.

What other vegetables can be used in this Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

You can make it rich in veggies by adding any of the vegetables below:

  • Spinach

  • Kale stemmed

  • Potatoes

  • Sweet potatoes 

  • Aubergine

  • Cauliflower

  • Mushrooms

  • Peas

What are the substitutes for Butternut Squash in this Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

Butternut Squash can be swapped with any other squash such as:

  • Delicata

  • Pumpkin

  • Acron

  • Kabocha

How to Store Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

This Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry stays fresh in the refrigerator for upto 2-3 days. In fact, the curry absorbs all the flavours and tastes even better the next day, so I always make sure to cook some extra. That way I make sure that I have leftovers to enjoy this curry for 2 days. 

Can you freeze this Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry? 

Surely. This Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry is completely freezable. To freeze, let it cool and then freeze in a freezer safe container for upto 1 month. When you want to serve, thaw it a room temperature and reheat in a pan or a microwave.

What should I serve with this Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

You can serve this curry with rice or flatbreads of your choice. I like to serve it with plain white steamed rice and some paratha

But you can also serve it with naan, jeera rice, matar pulao, brown rice, cauliflower rice, couscous, quinoa, any of the sides of your choice. 

A closeup shot of butternut squash chickpea curry

What are the most important tips, tricks and variations to make your best tasting Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry?

  1. This is a spicy and mildly hot curry, but if you want it less spicy then swap red chili powder with cayenne pepper. You can also skip or reduce the amount of cayenne pepper. 

  2. I used vegetable oil for this curry, but you can also use coconut oil for more rich coconutty flavours.

  3. To make it nuttier, you can also add roasted whole cashews, sliced almonds or raisins to this curry.

  4. If you want this curry to taste spicier than you can also add some freshly chopped chilies along with chopped onions.

  5. I like this curry to be entirely cooked in skimmed coconut milk, but if you think it is too rich for you, then you reduce the amount of coconut milk and replace it with plain water or coconut water. You can also use low-sodium vegetable broth.

  6. If you love rich flavours and textures, then add 2-3 tablespoons of coconut cream.

  7. You can make Pumpkin Chickpea Curry or Sweet Potato Chickpea Curry using the same recipe. Just replace butternut squash with pumpkin or sweet potatoes.

  8. Peeling  butternut squash might be a little hard for some people. For an easy peel, I use a vegetable peeler to peel the skin off.

  9. I cut butternut squash myself, but you can also use pre-cut butternut squash cubes for this recipe.

  10. To  make slicing and peeling easier, you can microwave whole butternut squash in the microwave for 2 minutes. 

image of butternut squash chickpea curry served in a white bowl over wooden board

Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry (Step-by-step photo instructions)

How to make Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry:

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Image of the cooking step-1-1 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  3. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick and sauté for a few seconds or until fragrant.
  4. Image of the cooking step-1-2 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  5. Now, add chopped onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
  6. Image of the cooking step-1-3 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  7. Add crushed ginger-garlic and sauté 1 more minutes or until the garlic is very fragrant and the onions turn translucent.
  8. Image of the cooking step-1-4 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  9. Add tomato puree and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes.
  10. Image of the cooking step-1-5 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  11. Now add cubed butternut squash and give it mix.
  12. Image of the cooking step-1-6 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  13. After that, add salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder. Mix and cook for 2 minutes until the spices are well mixed.
  14. Image of the cooking step-1-7 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  15. Now add chana masala powder, cumin powder, and 300 ml coconut milk. Stir well to combine.
  16. Image of the cooking step-1-8 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  17. Cover the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the squash is 80% cooked. Stir it occasionally to prevent it from sticking and burning.
  18. Image of the cooking step-1-9 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  19. Uncover the pan.
  20. Image of the cooking step-1-10 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  21. Stir in the cooked chickpeas, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, 200 ml coconut milk, and garam masala powder. (At this point you can now adjust the salt and consistency.)
  22. Image of the cooking step-1-11 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  23. Give everything a good stir and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the squash soft and tender and the sauce thickens.
  24. Image of the cooking step-1-12 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  25. Add maple syrup and lemon juice to taste.
  26. Image of the cooking step-1-13 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  27. Stir well, and cook for 1 more minute.
  28. Image of the cooking step-1-14 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
  29. Remove from heat, and serve butternut squash chickpea curry hot with steamed rice or naan.
  30. Image of the cooking step-1-15 for Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry


Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry [Recipe]

Recipe Image
This wholesome and creamy butternut squash chickpea curry is packed with aromatic Indian flavors. It is great for a comfy, healthy, vegetarian weeknight meal.
★★★★✰
(Rating: 4.4 from 28 reviews)

Prep time 🕐 Cook time 🕐 Total time 🕐
45 mins
Category ☶ Cuisine ♨ Serves ☺
Side Indian 4-6
Nutrition Info ⊛ Serving size ⊚
223 calories 1

INGREDIENTS

For Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry:
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 large sized onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ginger-garlic crushed
  • 200 grams tomato puree
  • 400 grams (approx 3 cups) butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 2.5 cups (approx 425 gram) cooked chickpeas (or canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained)
  • Salt to taste (I have added sea salt)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon Kashmiri red chili powder (you can also use cayenne pepper)
  • 1 teaspoon chana masala or curry powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala powder
  • 500 ml (approx 1 1/4 can) coconut milk (or more if needed)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup or honey
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • 3 tablespoons freshly chopped cilantro (coriander)leaves

INSTRUCTIONS:

How to make Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry:
  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over medium heat.
  2. Add cumin seeds, bay leaves, and cinnamon stick and sauté for a few seconds or until fragrant.
  3. Now, add chopped onions and sauté for 2 minutes.
  4. Add crushed ginger-garlic and sauté 1 more minutes or until the garlic is very fragrant and the onions turn translucent.
  5. Add tomato puree and stir well. Cook for 2 minutes.
  6. Now add cubed butternut squash and give it mix.
  7. After that, add salt, turmeric powder, coriander powder, and red chili powder. Mix and cook for 2 minutes until the spices are well mixed.
  8. Now add chana masala powder, cumin powder, and 300 ml coconut milk. Stir well to combine.
  9. Cover the pan and turn the heat to medium-low. Cook for 15 minutes, or until the squash is 80% cooked. Stir it occasionally to prevent it from sticking and burning.
  10. Uncover the pan.
  11. Stir in the cooked chickpeas, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves, 200 ml coconut milk, and garam masala powder. (At this point you can now adjust the salt and consistency.)
  12. Give everything a good stir and simmer for 8-10 minutes or until the squash soft and tender and the sauce thickens.
  13. Add maple syrup and lemon juice to taste.
  14. Stir well, and cook for 1 more minute.
  15. Remove from heat, and serve butternut squash chickpea curry hot with steamed rice or naan.

WATCH RECIPE VIDEO: Click the play button and video will load ...


NOTES:

  1. This is a spicy and mildly hot curry, but if you want it less spicy then swap red chili powder with cayenne pepper. You can also skip or reduce the amount of cayenne pepper.
  2. I used vegetable oil for this curry, but you can also use coconut oil for more rich coconutty flavours.
  3. To make it nuttier, you can also add roasted whole cashews, sliced almonds or raisins to this curry.
  4. If you want this curry to taste spicier than you can also add some freshly chopped chilies along with chopped onions.
  5. I like this curry to be entirely cooked in skimmed coconut milk, but if you think it is too rich for you, then you reduce the amount of coconut milk and replace it with plain water or coconut water. You can also use low-sodium vegetable broth.
  6. You may also need 1 cup water or vegetable broth, if want thinner consistency.

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