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Recipe: Butternut Squash and Pea Curry



This is a one pot curry (well two if you count the rice) that is super easy to make and full of healthy ingredients. It's also a good dinner for autumn / winter when we want something a little warming and comforting. I avoid buying jars of curry sauce as they are way too processed for my liking and very often are high in refined salt and sugar. Making a curry from scratch is really quite easy. All you really need is a good spice cupboard.

Making your curry from scratch at home just means building flavours. I usually make one pot curries using a set formula. Once you keep this formula in mind you can make a basic but very tasty curry using whatever vegetables you happen to have. You can also vary the seeds and spices you use to suit your taste buds.

My make your curry from scratch formula

1. Toast a mixture of seeds such as mustard, cumin, fenugreek and fennel seeds in a large saucepan.

2. Add coconut oil and allow to melt.

3. Add onion and allow to cook for 5 minutes.

4. Add garlic and allow to cook for 2 minutes.

5. Add the rest of your vegetables and allow to cook for 2 minutes.

6. Add your spices and allow to allow to cook for another 2 minutes.

7. Add your liquid such as vegetable stock, coconut milk or tomatoes and allow to cook until the vegetables have softened.

8. Add your herbs and a squeeze of lime or lemon juice before serving.

For this curry, butternut squash and peas are my star vegetables and my sauce is made from tomatoes and vegetable stock. When you look at the ingredient list below, it may seem like there are a lot of ingredients but most of them are spices. If you don't have a well stocked spice cupboard, you don't have to use all of the spices listed in the ingredient list. For example, if you just have cumin seeds that will work perfectly. However, I would recommend trying to build a good spice cupboard especially if you want to start cooking foods from scratch. Spices just make vegetables taste so beautiful without having to add ingredients that might not be the best for us. If you are stocking up your spice cupboard, keep a look out for spice mixes that contain a number of different spices to save you having to buy individual spices. I think I saw an Indian seed mix in the supermarket recently that had mustard, cumin, fennel, nigella and fenugreek seeds.

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons of cumin seeds

1 teaspoon of fennel seeds

1 teaspoon of mustard seeds

1 tablespoon of coconut oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 cloves of garlic, crushed

1 butternut squash, chopped into bite size pieces

1 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 teaspoon of ground garam masala

1 teaspoon of ground coriander

1 teaspoon of ground turmeric

Halt a teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper

Half a teaspoon of ground chilli

Generous pinch of sea salt

1 tin of plum tomatoes

2 cups of frozen peas

1 cup of cherry tomatoes

1 vegetable stock cube

1 cup of coriander, chopped

Juice of one lime

1 cup of brown rice.

Method:

1. In a large saucepan, toast the cumin, fennel and mustard seeds over a medium heat for about three minutes. Add the coconut oil and allow to melt and then add the chopped onion. Cook for 5 minutes and then add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes (add a teaspoon of water at the same time as you add the garlic to stop it from sticking to the saucepan). Then add the chopped butternut squash and cook for a further two minutes.

2. Next, add the ground garam masala, coriander, turmeric, cumin, cayenne pepper, chilli and sea salt and stir the vegetables well to coat them in the spices. Cook for about two minutes, constantly stirring the vegetables to stop them sticking to the saucepan.

3. Next, add the tin of plum tomatoes and use your empty tin to add a tin and a half of boiling water to the saucepan. Crumble the stock cube into the saucepan. Add the peas and cherry tomatoes and bring to the boil. Roughly break down the plum tomatoes with the back of a wooden spoon.

4. Once the curry is boiling, reduce the heat, cover with a lid and allow to simmer for 25 minutes. To cook your rice, rinse a cup of rice well in a sieve. Add it to a saucepan with two cups of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 25 minutes to allow the rice to absob the water. Once this is done, drain the rice fully and set it aside.

5. Once the curry is cooked, tip the cooked rice into the pot and mix well. To serve, spoon into individual bowl and top with chopped coriander and a squeese of lime. If you are not serving this curry immediately, allow it to cool before putting it in the fridge or freezer. It will keep for about 3 days in the fridge.


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