This is a wonderfully flexible dish; it can be enhanced with additional spices, with more greens, or omitting them altogether. I love butternut squash but I can get a little tired of making nothing but soup with this colourful vegetable (actually it's technically a fruit!!!)
Let's take a look at butternut squash
Packed with vitamins and minerals
Butternut squash is an excellent source of provitamin A carotenoids, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
High antioxidant content may decrease disease risk
The high antioxidant content of butternut squash may reduce your risk of certain conditions, including heart disease, lung cancer, and mental decline.
May aid weight loss
Butternut squash is low in calories and packed with fiber — making it a great choice for any healthy weight loss plan.
Recipe - for 4-6 people
1 medium butternut squash
1/4 tsp asafoetida (if you don't have this spice, add some finely chopped red onion and a couple of garlic cloves finely chopped)
1 large leek, sliced
7.5cm piece of fresh ginger, finely chopped
1 x 400ml tin of coconut milk plus 850ml water
250g red split lentils
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp turmeric
200g rainbow chard or spring greens (I used tender stem broccoli finely chopped in the pic)
1 tsp sea salt
75g fresh coriander, chopped
few slices of lime
Peel the squash and cut it into 2.5cm chunks
Put the asafoetida, leek, ginger and squash into a pan with the coconut milk & water. put the lid on and bring to a medium simmer
After 15 minutes, add the lentils, pepper, salt and turmeric and stir. allow to simmer on medium for a further 15-20 minutes, lid on, until the lentils are soft and the squash is tender. add more water if necessary to reach your desired consistency.
Add the greens in the last 5-15 minutes of cooking (length of time depends on the greens you are using (chard needs 5 minutes, spring greens about 15 minutes.
Garnish with coriander and lime slices and serve.
I only had a small squash, so I added a sweet potato. Delicious combo! I also added a tsp of chilli powder for a bit more kick. You can remove the coconut milk and just use water, if you are feeling kapha. You may need to adjust the seasoning a little more if you do this.
You can also add more flavour and spice by sautéing a spice mix in ghee in a separate pan - coriander seeds, cumin seeds, turmeric, ground ginger, chilli or cayenne powder, salt, black pepper - then drizzle it over the finished dish.