I've made a load of vegetarian and vegan pies. Some we have tucked into already, some have been shared and some of the pies are in the freezer for quick evening meals. But today, I was wanting something else.
With the weather being all wet, windy and blustery, I wanted a soup, a stew or curry of sorts. I remembered having half of butternut squash in the fridge leftover from a week day pasta lunch, so that was going to form the main part of the dish. The end result was a warming and mildly spiced Butternut Squash curry drenched in coconut goodness.
Due to poor lighting, the photograph does not do the burnt orange warming coloured dish justice, but it tasted wonderful. This dish was elevated further by the addition of saffron, a luxury spice and one that I used sparingly, a little does go a long way.
This fairtrade Saffron jar comes courtesy of Steenbergs Organic. I have used Steenbergs spices when I lived in Glasgow, Scotland, but not since I've been back in Wales. It is a spice often found in my mothers kitchen, but it was only ever used for special occasions, often in a Saffron Indian Style Rice Pudding, a baked Persian style rice dish or even Saffron Kulfi's.
What would you do with a jar of saffron?!
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 green pepper, diced
1 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon allspice
A good pinch of saffron threads
Around 500g butternut squash, cut into small bite size cubes
200g tinned tomatoes, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
1 x 400g can coconut milk
Heat oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until the onion is beginning to soften, then stir in the garlic and pepper an continue to cook until all the vegetables are soft. Stir in the spices and cook until fragrant, then add in the tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes disintegrate. Stir in the butternut squash, reduce the heat and allow to cook on for 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is soft, stir now and again to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. When the butternut squash is soft, test with a fork, stir in the coconut milk and allow to simmer for a few minutes until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary.
Serve with rice. Adapted from World Vegetarian Classics by the lovely Celia Brooks.