Sri Lankan Butternut Squash Curry

This light and aromatic vegetable curry From Shelina Permalloo's The Sunshine Diet is the perfect dish for a midweek and weekend suppers.

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One evening my sister’s friend and her mum showed me how to cook some traditional Sri Lankan dishes, and this was one of the stand-out dishes of the night. I was most impressed that it didn’t require the spices to be tempered or even roasted, yet the end result was a heady, layered and aromatic vegetable curry. This recipe’s simplicity is what makes it so special. The curry is perfect as a midweek get-together meal, particularly if you’ve come home after work wanting something really easy but delicious to prepare.

Serves 6


1 large butternut squash, seeded (skin left on) and cut into 5cm cubes
1 onion, chopped into large chunks
3 tbsp desiccated coconut
1 x 400ml tin light coconut milk, plus 1 tinful of cold water
2 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp hot chilli powder
2 green cardamom pods, left whole but lightly crushed
1 cinnamon stick, snapped in half
6 fresh curry leaves, plus extra to garnish


Put all the ingredients into a heavy-based casserole or saucepan and season with salt to taste. Bring to a gentle boil, then cook, uncovered, over a medium heat for around 45 minutes, or until the squash is cooked and tender, stirring occasionally.

Garnish with extra curry leaves and serve with brown rice and salad.

Per serving: calories 215 kcal, fat 9g, sugar 13g.

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