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Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry is a decadent and stick-to-your-ribs meal that is made of all whole ingredients. It’s spicy and sweet, whole and hearty, with fresh herbs brightening it up, and making it a well-rounded dish.
Chickpeas – The Superstar
If this isn’t a story about eating the rainbow, I don’t know what is! I get caught up in that trap of wanting all of the processed meats, because they’re easy, they’re appealing, and they’re packed with protein. But lately, in scrolling through my Instagram feed, I see so many bowls like this, with chickpeas as the star. And rightfully so! The chickpea is an amazing legume packed full of protein, vitamins, minerals, and fiber, being very nutritious as a result. It’s also low in the glycemic index, helping prevent blood sugar spikes1. It’s also not processed at all, so that’s pretty awesome too, hence the reason for this Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry dish.
Roasting Butternut Squash
As you can see, we do have a plethora of other ingredients that support and enhance this dish, and ’tis the season for winter squash! I urge you to seek out local farmers at your farmer’s markets, because these are abundant. Everyone has them. When you get your squash home, halve it, scoop the seeds out and roast in a 350°F on a cookie sheet, cut side up, until you can insert a fork in the most dense area of the squash. Put the halves in an air-tight container, and hold in the fridge until you’re ready to use. For me, this makes the task of getting these lovely gourds into a recipe much more likely. This way, it’s ready to use when I am! That’s exactly how I did this dish. I had roasted butternut squash already ready to go, which made this dish come together much faster.
Putting The Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry Together
A wok like this one is really the best way to go about this dish. I love how hot it gets, and its ability to keep the mixture at a rolling boil easily, which yields less splattering about, as a result. We use some of the coconut cream from the top of a can of coconut milk, which helps us cook the curry paste a bit. Then we add the fresh chili (if using), and the onions + peppers, just to get a little sear on them before adding the remaining ingredients.
The key to this dish is patience, as it is with many great culinary dishes. The coconut milk as it is, is pretty thin even with the curry paste and veggies. Because of the volume of coconut milk we’re using (yes, it IS a lot), it will take it a couple minutes to really start boiling. After it starts to boil, even more patience, as you let it continue, while stirring, until it reduces by about a quarter. This should take about 10 minutes. The mixture should be noticeably thicker, therefore coating the back of a spoon. Once that is achieved, it’s time to serve your Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry!
Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
This is a decadent and stick-to-your-ribs meal that is made of all whole ingredients. It's spicy and sweet, whole and hearty, with fresh herbs to brighten it up making it a well-rounded dish!
- 3 Cans Coconut Milk
- 4 oz Thai Red Curry Paste vegan
- 1-2 Tablespoons Thai Chili fresh, finely diced
- ½ Cup Yellow Onion julienned
- ½ Cup Red Pepper julienned
- 2 Cups Roasted Butternut Squash cubed
- 2 Cups Cooked Chickpeas
- ½ Cup Thai Basil fresh
- 1 Teaspoon Tamarind Paste
- 1 Tablespoon Sugar
- 2 Teaspoons Soy Sauce
- 1 Teaspoon Salt
- 1 Cup Scallions sliced + more for garnish
- 1½ Cups Jasmine Rice
*Do not shake the coconut milk cans – we will be using the solidified cream that floats at the top to use in thickening the curry paste.
Heat a large wok or pot over high heat. Open a can of coconut milk, and scoop out ¼ cup of the cream from the top. Put the cream into the wok, and also add the curry paste. Cook and reduce this mixture until it resembles the consistency of smooth peanut butter. Add in the onion, red pepper, and extra fresh chili if using, cooking to soften slightly, about 1-2 minutes. Toss in the squash, chickpeas, basil, tamarind paste, sugar, soy sauce, and salt, and mix to combine.
Bring this mixture to a boil, and reduce by ¼, until the mixture coats the back of a wooden spoon. This will take about 20 minutes at a full, rolling boil. While the mixture boils, make your rice as per package directions.
When the mixture has thickened, turn off heat and let cool slightly before serving. Mix in the scallions, and divide into 6 bowls. Serve with rice.
I like to have roasted butternut squash on hand to make recipes like this, so not too much time is spent in the kitchen. To roast the butternut squash, heat the oven to 350, halve the squash, and place cut-side-up on a baking sheet. Spray with a little olive oil, and season with two pinches of salt. Roast in the oven for 30-45 minutes, or until a fork inserted in the thickest part goes in easily. After that, let them cool, skin them with a sharp paring knife, and place in an air-tight container until ready to use.
When ready to use, cube up as much as you need, in this case 2 cups, and use them as needed!