I am in love with kabocha squash. Did I tell you that already?
It might have something to do with the fact that it’s the most readily available vegetable in the Philippines that comes closest to resembling a sweet potato and a pumpkin. And when I think of sweet potatoes and pumpkins, I think of dreams coming true.
Honestly, I am kind of shy about sharing this recipe.
Yellowy squash lentil curry is not, um, pretty, really.
But here’s the thing – it’s divine. And easy. And healthy! I couldn’t NOT give it to you. That would be like lying considering that this is what I’ve been eating for the last one thousand days. It’s so, so good. Indian-inspired comfort food with a little bit of spicy and a lot of creamy.
First, cut and peel your squash. This is how I do it. Secondly, cook your lentils. You can totally do this ahead of time and store them in the fridge.
Simmer your squash with a roughly chopped onion in vegetable broth and get intoxicated from the cozy smell.
Run through the blender and return to the pan. Hello gorgeous, creamy, and smooth.
Add the spices, curry paste, coconut milk and the lentils and let it all get comfy in the pan for a little bit. Time = flavor.
After all that to-do about the lentils not being very pretty, it turns out that my favorite pictures of this dish were the ones with no extra props or garnishes.
Just naked squash lentil curry.
Sometimes I add tomatoes and rice to the pan because sometimes things are better when they’re all mixed together.
Good grief, I just love this stuff.
And hi, I’m from Minnesota and I say things like good grief.
- 2 cups dry brown lentils
- 4-5 cups peeled, cubed kabocha or Japanese red squash (half of one large squash)
- 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 1/2 tablespoon Massaman red curry paste
- 2 teaspoons curry powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- dash of cinnamon (optional)
- ½ cup coconut milk
- 2 large tomatoes, diced (optional)
- Greek yogurt and rice for serving
- Cook the lentils in a large pot of boiling water for 20-30 minutes. When lentils are tender, drain excess water and set aside. If making ahead, store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
- In a nonstick skillet over medium heat, saute onion in 1 tablespoon butter. Add squash and vegetable broth. Let simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until squash is softened. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return to pan and add curry paste, curry powder, turmeric, salt, cayenne, cinnamon, and coconut milk. Stir or whisk until smooth and creamy.
- Add cooked lentils and tomatoes. Let simmer together for 10-20 minutes and serve over rice, topped with Greek yogurt.
Makes about six 1 cup servings.