Well, it’s official. Connecticut had its first snowfall. I’m not ready yet, but I guess I have no choice, so might as well roll with it.
I don’t know about you, but cold weather always makes me crave comfort foods that come in a bowl like soup, stew, chili, and curry. We just love having a hearty bowl of something for dinner as we sit by a roaring fire. This recipe marries a butternut squash into a creamy, vegan coconut curry perfect for fireside dinners on a cold winter weather evening.
When it comes to making a curry I tend to like coconut based sauces best. In addition to using coconut milk, I saute the vegetables (or meat) in coconut oil to heighten the coconut flavor. In this month’s Degustabox there were sample sizes of Nutiva coconut oil. I chose the unrefined one because it has the most flavor as opposed to it’s more refined relatives. Nutiva Virgin Coconut Oil is certified organic and certified fair trade. I also like that Nutiva supports sustainable farming practices and donates 1% of sales to regenerative agriculture. (You can read about their mission and values on their website.)
With the coconut milk as the base, I went straight for the perfect small butternut squash sitting on my counter. I love pretty much all the winter squashes but there is something so delicious about butternut squash. Maybe it’s the dense yet tender texture and sweet, nutty flavor that seem to lend itself perfectly to stewed and saucy comfort food dishes.
Once I got started cooking I realized I did not have any fresh cilantro to use in this recipe. Oy, it never fails I always forget something. However, I do have a ton of homegrown and dried herbs. So, I decided on dried thyme, which I often pair with butternut squash when I roast it. Come to find out dried thyme is often used in Jamaican curry dishes. I’m happy to know my taste buds were in line with culinary traditions out there.
Instead of rice, I served this creamy curry over quinoa. Bonus, it gave the dish a nice plant-based protein boost.
We snuggled into our seats on the floor by the fireplace and feasted on heaping bowls of this flavorful vegan curry. It was comforting inside and out.
Butternut Squash Coconut Curry
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons curry powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
- 1, 14-ounce can coconut milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth
- Salt, to taste
- Heat the coconut oil over medium heat. Saute the onion, garlic, and ginger until the onion is translucent.
- Stir in the curry powder, paprika, cayenne, and thyme. Saute for about 1 minute.
- Stir in the squash, coconut milk, and vegetable broth.
- Bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to low.
- Let simmer for 20-30 minutes until squash is fork tender.
- Season with salt to taste.
- Serve over cooked quinoa or rice.
Photos by Renato Ghio