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Butternut Squash Curry

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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 but butternut squash works well too and is an easy alternative.

butternut squash curry

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

About this butternut squash curry recipe

This is a delicious and healthy curry that can be prepared in minutes. Unlike most curries, this butternut squash curry requires no frying. 

It’s slowly simmered in coconut milk until the squash is cooked through. 

What is the difference between this and the original?

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. 

You will not taste a big difference when using green pumpkin but it’s more unique in the west and fun to serve.

Do you lose flavour by not frying?

Not at all! This is a Sri Lankan method of cooking vegetable curries and the flavour is amazing.  

The fact that the ingredients weren’t fried made no difference to the end result. If anything it offers a refreshing change from other vegetarian curries. That said, you might like to try this fried butternut squash curry, so you can decide for yourself which you prefer.

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

Can you work ahead?

Yes. Go ahead and get all the ingredients prepared one or two days ahead of cooking if more convenient.

You could also cook the whole curry one or two days ahead of serving and then just reheat it to serve. 

How long with this butternut squash curry keep in the fridge?

You can keep this curry in the fridge for at least three days. Just wrap it tightly and bring it out when you are ready to reheat it and serve.

Can you freeze this curry?

Yes. If you have leftovers, go ahead and freeze them. You will lose some flavour and texture though so I recommend not freezing if you don’t have to.

How do you reheat this butternut squash curry?

You can reheat it in your microwave. It only takes a few minutes. The best way to reheat it is in a pot over a medium heat.


  1. For a unique and equally as delicious change, try green pumpkin if you can get it.
  2. Be sure to use the freshest ingredients you can get your hands on.
  3. Taste as you cook. It’s a good idea to try the curry before serving and adjust the flavours to taste.

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.

If you like this butternut squash curry recipe, you might like to try some of the Indian Vegetarian favourites.

Dum Aloo
Pakistani Chickpea Biryani
Punjabi Saag Curry
Punjabi Rajma
Butternut Squash Curry
Sri Lankan Green Beans Curry
Aloo Gobi
Saag Paneer
Onion Pakora Curry
Chana Saag Curry
Potato Curry
Saag Paneer
Mushroom Curry
Masala Corn
Gobi Manchurian
Bombay Potatoes
Masala Dosa
Saag Aloo
Tandoori Hummus
Tarka Dal
Masoor Dal
Dal Makhani
Chana Dal
Homemade Poppadoms From Scratch
Cabbage Thoran
Chai Tea (masala chai)

Have you tried this butternut squash curry recipe?

If yes, please give it a star rating in the recipe card below and leave a comment. I love receiving your feedback and I’m sure other readers of my blog do too. Thank you.

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Yield: 3 - 4

Sri Lankan Squash Curry

butternut squash curry
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.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 160Total Fat: 12gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 593mgCarbohydrates: 13gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g

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Avis Cooper

Saturday 18th of February 2023

Some of our butternut squash is beginning to get soft at the ends so I've just made this curry, again! We love the combination of the sweet and hot and spicey flavours. This is one of the curries that I've printed out and keep in a binder. I grew up in India and learned to love their cooking. I'm so glad I married someone who enjoys these, too! Thank you, Dan, for sharing your recipes with us. Be blessed.

Dan Toombs

Saturday 18th of February 2023

Thanks so much for letting me know. I am glad you married someone who enjoys your cooking too. Dan

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