Butternut Squash & Spinach Curry

Healthy Recipes

Serves: 4
Prep & Cooking time: 65-75minutes

Notes: This recipe contains: Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamins C, E & K, protein, fibre, potassium, magnesium, iron, some calcium, no added sugars and is low in saturated fats!

This curry is simple and delicious! Its very ‘light’ and makes an ideal ‘starter recipe’ to get you cooking more South Asian cuisine! Please do not feel that you have to use tamarind, especially in this form; buying it like this saves you money though. Preparing a paste from the pulp won’t add too much extra prep time either (maybe 5 minutes)! You can still make this curry without it, just season and flavour it to your own personal taste.


NB: Oue  garam masala spice mix and fresh coriander are missing. *The coriander is coming straight out of my freezer and I am making my own garam blend!




+++++++++++++++++++++++++50g      Tamarind pulp
+++++++++++++++++++++++++250ml  Boiling water
+++++++++++++++++++++++++160g     Frozen spinach
+++++++++++++++++++++++++300g    White onion
+++++++++++++++++++++++++40g       Root ginger
+++++++++++++++++++++++++8g         Garlic cloves
+++++++++++++++++++++++++1000g   Butternut Squash
+++++++++++++++++++++++++10g        Fresh coriander
+++++++++++++++++++++++++              1kcal Fry Spray (low-fat cooking oil)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++200g    Brown basmati rice (uncooked)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++4g         Garam Masala spice mix
+++++++++++++++++++++++++2g         Black mustard seeds
+++++++++++++++++++++++++400ml  Vegetable stock (low-sodium/DF/GF)
+++++++++++++++++++++++++20g       Flaked almonds



Nutritional info (inclusive of the curry and the rice):

*Based on 4 servings, this recipe provides:
422kcal, 11g Protein, 5.3g Fat, 0.71g Sat/fat, 0.73g Salt, 5.2mg Iron/ serving




Cut a piece of the pulp off of the slab.


Place the pulp into a bowl.


Add the boiling water. Allow it to soak for approximately 30 minutes, or until softened.

NB: You can soak yours for 15 minutes if desired. I prefer the flavours I get from a 30 minute soak.


In the meantime, place the spinach into a microwavable bowl. Defrost in the microwave. Drain. NB: If using fresh spinach, wash it in a colander and then allow it to drain.


Meanwhile, peel and finely dice the onions. Wash, peel and grate the ginger. Peel and crush the garlic. Peel, trim the ends, de-seed and chop the squash into bite-sized chunks. Wash, dry and roughly chop the coriander.

NB: I cheated… I used my food processor to dice the onions!


NB: This is what our pulp looked like after 30 minutes.

Yes…it doesn’t look very pretty!


Get another bowl and a fine sieve….


Pour the contents of the bowl with the pulp through the sieve into the second bowl.


With a fork, gently press against the tamarind pulp; hard enough to push the pulp through the sieve (collecting a paste in the water), separating it from its thick membranes, husk and seeds.

NB: I can only commit to this for about 1-2 minutes! Some people will push, squeeze and separate all of the pulp from the seeds and only use the reserved paste (and not the water)…that is their prerogative! For me, the juice and the amount of paste I have gathered is enough to enhance the flavours of this curry. 🙂


Keep the water with the paste. Discard the contents of the sieve.


Meanwhile, heat a large, non-stick saucepan over a medium-low heat. Spray some low-fat cooking oil. Add the onion, ginger and garlic. Gently fry for 1-2 minutes or until softened.

NB: I used ‘3 sprays’.


In the meantime, prepare the rice according to the packet instructions.

NB: I  flavoured my rice by adding 6 cardamom pods before cooking; remove before serving.  Just remember to count them before you put them in!


Add the garam masala and the mustard seeds.


Stir together. Gently fry for 1 minute or until fragrant.


Add the reserved paste and its water, squash and the stock. Stir together. Bring to the boil. Cover and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender.


In the meantime, place a small frying pan over a medium-high heat. When its hot, add the nuts. Stir and gently dry-fry them until lightly toasted. Remove and transfer into a small dish.


Add the spinach and coriander about 2 minutes before the end of cooking (this will allow the spinach to wilt slightly before serving; if using fresh). Cover with the lid.


Remove from the heat. Allow it to rest 5-10 minutes with the lid on (if you have time). I always find the flavours taste best when the meal is not boiling hot!


Serve warm. Place the curry into a small dish. Garnish with the nuts and some coriander (if desired) and serve along side the rice. Alternatively, place the rice into a large serving bowl, cover it with the curry and garnish with the nuts.

NB: This picture provides 1 serving (based on this recipe serving 4). * I found some coriander and garlic flavoured pita bread to serve with ours 🙂





Refrigerate in a resealable container and consume within 3 days.


If preferred…

  • Make this curry one day ahead if you are short on time; things always taste better the next day anyways!
  • Use any type of South Asian spice and/or flavouring you desire!
  • Try using fresh spinach instead of frozen and pumpkin instead of butternut squash.
  • Try adding some brown lentils to this dish to increase the iron content!
  • Serve with some plain/unsweetened soya yoghurt and half a GF pita bread if desired. NB: We recommended pita because typical ‘naan bread’ (a.k.a. Indian leavened flat bread) normally contains quite of bit of fat and/or salt!