This vegan green curry recipe with winter vegetables features sweet, delicious roasted butternut squash and fresh winter greens in a simple and creamy homemade coconut green curry sauce. You can make it as mild or as spicy as you want and is a beautifully colourful way to use the best of winter’s seasonal produce.
If this recipe looks familiar to you, you may have seen it, like I did, on a recent Jaime Oliver program. I’ll admit that I didn’t come up with this combination of butternut squash and winter greens in a green curry but I wish that I had, it’s absolutely delicious!
Roasted butternut squash is like candy to me and the way its sweetness combines with the spicy green chili in this recipe is to die for.
I’m a big fan of Thai curries and I’ve already got a mixed-vegetable green curry recipe and a pineapple red curry recipe up on the blog, but this vegan green curry with winter vegetables is hands-down my favorite curry recipe so far.
For regular weeknight curries I generally use store bought vegan curry pastes (always check the ingredients!) for convenience. This recipe, however, is involves a very basic homemade green curry paste made in the food processor.
Since you’re gonna need an hour to roast the butternut squash, you might as well use the time to roast a couple spices and blitz them up with some aromatics.
The obvious advantage is that you’ve got full control over how spicy your curry will be – some of those commercial curry pastes will totally burn your face off if you’re not used to spicy food!
Besides the butternut squash, this vegan green curry is bulked out with some fresh winter greens. You can use whatever you like or have on hand and it’s great if you’ve got any leftovers to use them up.
Since I live in Spain, I’m lucky enough to have a year-round garden (although not much of a green thumb) and I’ve got some wonderful purple kale and winter radishes ready for harvest now.
Radish greens are great for curries and stir-fries, no need for those leaves to go to waste! Other options for this curry would be spinach, bok choy or cabbage.
- Half a butternut squash
- Olive oil, salt and pepper, for roasting
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 teaspoons coriander seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
- 2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped
- A chunk of ginger about 5 cm (2 inches), peeled and sliced
- 4 long green chili peppers *see note
- 2 – 4 small spicy green chili peppers (like bird’s eye, adjust to taste)
- 1 stalk of lemongrass, cut into 3 or 4 pieces
- 4 kaffir lime leaves, torn up
- A bunch of cilantro (about 30 grams / 1 oz)
- 1 lime, zest and juice
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce or tamari
- 3 tablespoons neutral oil (optional)
- 3 ½ cups (800 ml) coconut milk
- ¾ cup water
- 150 grams (5.3 oz) fresh winter greens of your choice (kale, radish greens, bok choy, spinach, etc.)
- Rice, for serving
- Chopped peanuts, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Slice the butternut squash from top to bottom in slices about 3 cm (1 inch) thick. Place on a baking pan and drizzle over a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and toss well. Roast until soft and caramelized – about 1 hour.
- Meanwhile heat a large saucepan on medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds and toast, stirring, for about 2 minutes until they are fragrant and darken in colour slightly. Pour the seeds into your food processor and set aside. Now add the garlic, shallots, ginger, chili peppers and lemongrass to the dry pan and roast, stirring occasionally, until they are beginning to brown – about 5 minutes.
- Add those to the food processor along with the lime leaves, most of the fresh cilantro (leaves and stems), reserving some leaves for garnish, lime zest and juice and soy sauce. Blitz to a paste. If you’re having trouble getting it going, you can add up to 2 tablespoons of a neutral oil.
- Add 1 tablespoon of neutral oil to your saucepan and fry the curry paste, stirring occasionally, for a couple of minutes. Add the coconut milk, water and winter greens and simmer over medium-low heat until the greens are tender.
- Serve the curry in bowls with rice and artfully arrange the butternut squash slices on top (or just throw them in, whatever). Garnish with peanuts and cilantro leaves.
Note: There are many different kinds of chili peppers with varying heat. My long chilies are quite mild and I like spicy food so I add some spicy bird’s eyes. Taste your chilies first and decide how spicy you want your curry to be.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 4 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 732 Total Fat: 58g Saturated Fat: 39g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 15g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 985mg Carbohydrates: 53g Fiber: 8g Sugar: 15g Protein: 14g