All week long I’ve been asking Marvin, “Hey, what do you think about trying some butternut squash curry?” and all week long he’s been turning me down. Vegetarian can be a hard sell in this house. What have we been eating this week instead? Chinese takeout (marginal), homemade matzo ball soup (awesome), and turkey and cream cheese wraps (ugh, so boring). Well, finally last night, I couldn’t put off my craving any longer. I decided to make Butternut Squash Curry just for me. Mmmmmm…. I’ve been thinking about this recipe for weeks.
This Butternut Squash Thai Curry is easy to prepare. Over the years I’ve adapted it slightly to use things I have on-hand (lime zest for kaffir lime leaves and chili flakes for Thai red chilies). One ingredient this recipe can’t do without is fresh lemon grass, but fortunately it is easy to find in virtually every grocery store in Seattle. Is it available in your grocery store? I hope so…
Anyway, this curry is complex with a nice blend of the four classic Thai flavors – sweet, sour, spicy and salty. The butternut squash is rich and meaty. Honestly, you won’t miss the meat – Marvin even agrees with me about that now that he’s tried a bowl. Serve this rich, comforting, curry over basmati or jasmine rice.
NOTE: Substitute tamari or soy sauce for the fish sauce in the recipe below for a truly vegetarian dish.
- 2 to 3 lb. butternut squash
- 1 medium onion
- 8 oz. green beans
- 1 Tbsp. canola or peanut oil
- 2 tsp. curry powder
- 1 tsp. dried coriander
- 1 tsp. dried cumin
- ½ tsp. dried red chili flakes (more if desired)
- 1 Tbsp. fresh minced ginger
- 1 tsp. fresh minced garlic
- 2 tsp. finely grated lime zest
- ½ tsp. salt
- 2 - 15.5 oz. cans coconut milk (or light coconut milk)
- 1 - 4" piece lemon grass
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce
- 1 tsp. Thai fish sauce (or soy sauce)
- 4 Tbsp. coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
- 1 cup roasted, unsalted peanuts for garnish, optional
- Peel and seed the butternut squash and cut it into 1.5 inch chunks.
- Cut the onion in half lengthwise, then cut into ¼ inch slices.
- Cut the tops off the beans and cut each in half on the diagonal.
- In a large wok, heat the oil over medium high heat.
- Add the curry powder, coriander, cumin, and chili flakes. Sauté the spices briefly in the oil, then add the onion, fresh ginger, garlic, lime zest and lemon grass. Continue cooking until the onions are soft.
- Add the coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, fish sauce, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and taste. Adjust seasonings as needed.
- Add the butternut squash and cook until it is tender, about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the green beans and cook just until they are crisp tender, about 3 minutes.
- Serve curry in bowls over basmati or jasmine rice garnished with chopped peanuts.