Just a quick post with an easy recipe for a delicious, rich, slightly honeyed Pakistani-style butternut squash and prawn curry that gets its fabulously aromatic full flavour mainly from being blasted with heat and ignored for the majority of its time in the oven.
This recipe is definitely not the usual way of making a curry – you add the various components to the roasting tin at a couple of intervals during cooking and then simply walk away and leave it to its own devices. It does take a fair while in the oven, but because you can get on with other tasks instead of having to hover over the stove, it feels fuss-free and almost disconcertingly easy to make; and especially so when you taste how incredibly good it is.
ROASTING PAN BUTTERNUT SQUASH & PRAWN CURRY
As well as being extremely easy to make, this curry can also be made in a hurry too, if you use a packet of prepared butternut squash cubes instead of the mini butternut squash halves I’ve gone with in mine.
This will also work with pumpkin when the time arrives – just cut the pumpkin into medium sized wedges or cubes before cooking
2 mini butternut squash, halved & deseeded (OR for a quicker option, 1 bag of pre-prepared butternut squash cubes)
1 medium onion, peeled & cut into eighths
1 packet of large raw prawns
6 medium-sized vine tomatoes
Tin of chopped tomatoes
Tin of coconut milk
3 cloves of garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
Small handful of fresh coriander
1 tablespoon of runny honey
2 teaspoons each of cumin seed, nigella seed, coriander seed, fenugreek seed (if you have it) and the seeds of a few cardamon pods
Half a tablespoon each of garam masala and ground cumin
A pinch of ground cinnamon
2 fresh chillies
Generous knob of butter
Salt & pepper
Preheat your oven to 220°c. Place the butternut squash halves in a roasting tin cut side up (or tip the cubes into the tin if you’re using them instead). Season with salt and pepper and all of the whole seed spices (keep the ground spices, ie the garam masala, ground cumin & ground cinnamon, for later). Tuck the whole tomatoes and raw onion chunks around the squash halves. Slice the chillies in half and add to the tray. Drizzle the whole lot with olive oil then roast for 25 minutes. Add the tinned tomatoes, coconut milk, butter, honey, ground cumin, cinnamon and garam masala and some of the coriander. Grate the ginger and garlic in. Stir the sauce well then turn the butternut squash halves over so that they’re now cut side down, scraping the spices into the rest of the sauce. Cover the tin with foil and bake for another 30-35 minutes (less if you’re using the squash cubes instead) or until the squash is tender when cut with a knife. Add the prawns and cook for about eight more minutes. Taste the sauce to ensure the seasoning is okay; add more salt, chilli, coriander or spices as required.
To serve, either slice the flesh off the skin of the squash and stir into the curry, discarding the skins, or, for greater impact, serve spoonfuls of the curry over an individual mini butternut squash half for each portion. Top the curry with more fresh coriander and serve with peshwari or regular naan; steamed basmati rice and a cool yogurt dip.