Butternut Squash & Chickpea Curry

I've mentioned in a few of my latest blog posts that I recently just got back from India!
I did my yoga teacher training at a shala on Patnem Beach, Goa and during my stay I ate vegetarian. We ate  a lot of curries, whole grains, legumes, tofu, fresh fruit and I am super happy to say that a lot of the food they offered was vegan!

Since coming back I have literally been craving chickpeas and rice... everyday.

I am not one for labelling what type of diet I eat. I eat what my body craves and I choose what foods I want to nourish my body with. Sometimes I eat meat, sometimes I eat vegan, and sometimes I eat meals that are keto. I don't like labels because I don't want my personality or a large piece of who I am to be classified as ______, and I also don't like the feeling of being judged based on my food choices.

I am currently trying to eat meat only 3 times per week. I still have eggs in the morning (yes, I know they are a product of the poultry industry) and butter occasionally throughout the week. It is primarily the meat consumption that I am really trying to limit and be aware of. For a healthier body, and for a healthier planet. I DO think that we consume way too much animal protein and I am very aware of the damages to the planet due to the agriculture industry. If you disagree with everything that I'm saying that's totally okay! My opinion on the matter is that whatever kind of diet you eat, choose which foods to eat based on how your body feels. Becoming mindful is the first step to nourishing your body. Combining mindfulness with education is the best way to find out what your perfect "diet" is. 


Okay so I'm craving chickpeas and rice again... That means I better finish talking so I can get to the recipe!
This butternut squash and chickpea curry is very filling, supports healthy skin, eyesight and gut flora while contributing to lean muscle mass. This recipe is completely plant based and very affordable. If you're worried about not having enough holiday cash I highly recommend you start eating meals like this! Buying frozen butternut squash can often be cheaper than buying fresh and even though I try to support buying fresh and local as often as I can, frozen foods are actually still very nutrient dense and a good option to support health on a budget.


curry paste:
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp ground turmeric
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1/3 C rice vinegar or coconut vinegar
4-5" nug of fresh ginger, skin peeled
3 cloves garlic
1/3 C sesame or avocado oil
1 tbsp himalayan salt
1 lime, zested and juiced

1 tbsp coconut oil
1 white onion, diced small
2 lemongrass stalks, crushed with rolling pin
1 C vegetable broth or water
2 cans coconut milk
5 C butternut squash, diced small * see recipe notes
5 C chickpeas ** see recipe notes
1 bunch cilantro leaves, rough chop
1 1/2 tsp salt

2 C brown rice (or quinoa)

Optional garnish:
fresh cilantro
chili flakes

*Use your own fresh butternut squash or feel free to use frozen squash to save yourself some time. I find that frozen squash cooks much faster compared to fresh, so I find that it gets very soft and almost becomes one with the curry, but this isn't a a bad thing! It also tastes delicious this way and is what I did when making this recipe :)
** If using dry chickpeas, soak and cook 2 C dry chick peas for this recipe.
If using canned, I would probably use 2 large cans of chickpeas. 


Combine all of the curry paste ingredients into a blender or food processor and create your paste.

Heat up coconut oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan and saute onions for 5 minutes or until transparent. Turn heat to low medium, add curry paste and crush lemon grass and saute 3 minutes. When the curry starts to stick to the pan a bit, deglaze the pan with the vegetable broth or water, add coconut milk, butternut squash and salt. Cover and let simmer until the squash is tender (about 15 minutes depending on the size of your sauce pan)

Start cooking your rice as per directed on package. Brown rice usually takes approximately 40 minutes to cook. If you are using quinoa, start cooking after the next step below.

Remove the cover, add chopped cilantro and continue to cook until the squash is very soft (about 20 minutes). *Taking the cover off allows for evaporation of moisture, resulting in the liquid reducing. Reducing the liquid results in concentrated flavour and also makes the curry sauce a little thicker opposed to liquidy.

When the sauce has reduced and the butternut squash is done, remove the lemon grass stalk and add cooked chick peas. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper and serve over hot rice!

Serves 6-8


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