Squash and spinach curry

Curries are great because there are lots of veggie versions available and of course they are served with rice. This curry is inspired by one I once had in a pub – it’s full of flavour but not too spicy. Real Indian curries tend to use loads and loads of spices (some quite unusual ones too), so I’ve tried to make it as simple as possible. If you don’t already have cumin, cloves or cardamoms and don’t fancy buying them, just add one more teaspoon of curry powder. Serve with basmati rice, poppadums, lime pickle and mango chutney.

Serves 4–6

500g butternut squash
2 onions
4 cloves of garlic
fresh ginger about the size of a thumb
4 tsp curry powder (check it's wheat\gluten free)
2 tsp cumin seeds
20 black peppercorns
10 whole cloves
4 green cardamoms
500ml passata
2 tins of chickpeas (drained)
150g fresh spinach
Olive oil

Put the oven on at 185C. Peel the squash if you don’t like the skin (I tend to leave it on). then chop it up into roughly 1cm cubes. Place in a roasting tin with a tablespoon of olive oil, using a spoon to coat all the cubes evenly. Cook for 45 minutes.
While the squash is in the oven, start on the rest of the curry. Remove the husks from the cardamom pods and discard. Place the seeds in a pestle and mortar with the cumin, peppercorns and cloves. Grind until you get a fine powder.
Peel the ginger using a knife or vegetable peeler. Then finely dice the onion, garlic and ginger. Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and then add the onion. When soft, add the ginger, garlic and spices. Fry for a few minutes to let the flavours develop.
Now add the passata and the chickpeas. Finally, fill the empty chickpea cans with water and add that too. Simmer for half an hour, then add the squash cubes and let the mix simmer for a further 15 minutes. After this time, a lot of the liquid should have disappeared.
Roughly tear the spinach leaves in half and place them all on top of the curry, but don’t stir. After a few minutes, the leaves will have wilted. Stir them in, and simmer for a further 15 minutes until you have a thick and delicious curry.


Recipes about gluten-free, wheat-free, dairy-free, egg-free, alcohol-free and vegan cooking.

By the way - don't forget to ask all your guests if they have an allergy (because the recipes use some unusual combinations and they may not expect to find citrus and soya in a chocolate cake, for example).
pps.if you are cooking for someone with an allergy, please read my allergy post first.