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Butternut Squash Curry


This butternut squash curry is so good and easy to make too!

My wife and I learned this butternut squash curry recipe while travelling around Sri Lanka.

We visited a little restaurant called Inspire. It only had a few tables but the food they put on those tables was out of this world amazing.

The owner and chef offered to show us this butternut squash curry recipe, which was actually prepared using green pumpkin at the restaurant and I’m so happy they did.

butternut squash curry

No frying! This healthy curry is one of my favourite veggie curries.

Butternut squash or pumpkin?

As I mentioned above, this butternut squash curry was prepared with green pumpkin at the restaurant.

It was fantastic but butternut squash works equally as well and is also easier to source. That said, if you happen to find some green pumpkin and a farm shop, pick it up. I recommend trying both options. 

No Frying?

That’s right! Although most curries are fried at some stage, this butternut squash curry was simply simmered in a coconut milk liquid.

The fact that the ingredients weren’t fried made no difference to the end result. If you would rather tried a fried butternut squash curry, try this but I think you will love this version.

There are only a few ingredients in this Sri Lankan style butternut squash curry and they all work so well with each other.

Watch this butternut squash curry being prepared in Sri Lanka.

If you scroll down to the recipe, there is a video of my wife learning to make this curry in Sri Lanka.

She learned several recipes that day. The butternut squash curry starts at 4 minutes 50 seconds in the video.

Step by step photos…

Ingredients for butternut squash curry

Get your ingredients together before starting. It makes things easier when you go to cook.

Pounded mustard seeds

Pound the mustard seeds in a pestle and mortar.

Adding garlic and ginger to pestle and mortar

With the mustard seeds crushed, add the garlic and ginger and smash it up some too.

Adding coconut milk to pestle and mortar ingredients

Stir in the coconut milk.

Placing cubed butternut squash into pot

Place the cubed butternut squash in a large clay pot or sauce pan

Adding coconut milk to the squash

Cover the squash with the coconut milk mixture and bring to a simmer over medium high heat.

simmering butternut squash curry

Simmer for about 20 minutes or until the squash is fall apart tender.

butternut squash curry

Perfect as a side dish or as a main with rice.


Prep Time
10 minutes

Cook Time
30 minutes

Total Time
40 minutes


  • 1 ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • 600ml (2 ¼ cups) light coconut milk
  • 1 generous tbsp garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 generous tbsp ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 small green pumpkin or a small butternut squash, seeded and cut into bite sized pieces
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • 20 curry leaves, fresh or frozen
  • 1 x 2.5cm (1 inch) leeks, thinly sliced, white part only
  • 1 tsp salt


  1. Start by preparing the sauce. Blend together the mustard seeds, coconut, garlic and ginger. and set aside.
  2. Cut the pumpkin/squash into bite sized pieces, leaving the skin on.
  3. Place the cut pumpkin/squash in a clay pot or large flat bottomed saucepan and cover with prepared sauce.
  4. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Add the turmeric, curry leaves, leeks and red onion.
  5. Simmer for around 20 minutes or until soft. Season with salt to taste and serve.

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I hope you enjoy this butternut squash curry recipe. If you do try it, please leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you. 


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