Squash Spinach Curry

Spinach cooked with vegetables or meat is a common combination - however, here we are being careful to barely cook the spinach so it remains bright and flavorful. 

makes ~4 cups


4 Tbsp EVOO

1 tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp of fenugreek seeds

2 cup red onion, minced

3 cups of butternut squash peeled and chopped into 1 ½ inch pieces

1 Tbsp ginger purée

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp cracked coriander seeds

1 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp black pepper

1 tsp chili powder

1 cup of canned ground tomatoes

1 large bunch of fresh spinach (about 6 cups of chopped spinach)

1 tsp ground cinnamon



  1. In a heavy bottom stockpot, heat up olive oil and pop the mustard and fenugreek seeds.  Add the minced red onions and cook on high to medium heat for 5-7 minutes or until  slightly translucent. Add the butternut squash, ginger purée, turmeric, cracked coriander seeds, salt and black pepper. Cover the pot, lower the heat to simmer for 7-8 minutes. If the squash is not cooked through add a bit of water.
  2. Add the chili powder and ground tomatoes and bring the curry to a boil. Lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer the curry for another 5-10 minutes or until the squash is tender. The sauce with the tomatoes should now be thick - if not, cook with the lid off on high heat until some of the liquid is absorbed. 
  3. Trim the bottom inch of the spinach bunch and wash the stems and leaves thoroughly. Dry the leaves or drain in a colander and chop finely and add to the squash curry. Turn the heat up and cover the curry to just allow the spinach leaves to wilt. 
  4. Turn the heat off and add the ground cinnamon and serve. 


When buying fresh spinach, especially if bought from a local farmers market, it can often be very sandy or just covered in dirt. A good way to clean it is to rinse the leaves 2-3 times in a sink full of cold water. The dirt or sand will sink the to bottom as you lift the clean leaves out. 

ideas / variations

  • Replace butternut squash with sweet potato, regular potato, chayote squash or any other root vegetable. 
  • Use a cumin seed pop instead of mustard seeds. 
  • Instead of spinach, mix in 1-2 bunches of watercress or one bunch of mustard greens or kale.
  • Replace cinnamon with 1 tsp of ground cardamom, nutmeg or mace or with ½ tsp of ground cloves or star anise. 
  • To replace canned tomatoes with fresh, just double the quantity. The proportions are 1:2 for canned to fresh tomatoes.