Squash and Wild Mushroom Curry. Pic by Karsten Moran
Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Total time: 30 minutes


3 tablespoons vegetable oil

283g butternut or other winter squash, peeled and diced in 1/2-inch cubes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 or 2 small whole green chilies, such as jalapeño or serrano

3 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely diced

1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

Handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves, optional

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

Pinch of cayenne

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

450g mushrooms, preferably a mix of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced 1/8-inch thick

3/4 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons lime juice

Coriander sprigs, for garnish


In a wide skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. When hot, add squash cubes in one layer. 

Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, letting cubes brown slightly, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. 

Use a slotted spoon to lift squash out, and set aside.

Cut a lengthwise slit in each pepper to open it, but leave whole. (This allows the heat and flavor of the chilies to release into the sauce without making it too spicy.)

Add shallots to skillet, salt lightly and cook, stirring, 1 minute. 

Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves and let sizzle for 30 seconds, then add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and chilies. 

Stir well and cook for 30 seconds more.

Add mushrooms to pan, season with salt and toss to coat. 

Continue to cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.

Return squash cubes to pan, stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer. 

Lower heat to medium and simmer for another 5 minutes. If mixture looks dry, thin with a little water. Taste and season with salt.

Just before serving, stir in lime juice. Transfer to a warm serving dish and garnish with cilantro leaves.