A soothing and comforting North Indian recipe for Butternut Squash and Potato Curry hailing from Rajasthan, featuring winter squash and potatoes using whole spices and ghee, served over fluffy basmati rice. With a video!
Happiness comes from within. It is not dependent on external things or on other people. ~Brian Weiss
As you can imagine, the food in India was mind-blowing. The combination of spice creates layers of complexity and flavor, taking ordinary vegetables to another level. This comforting dish was one of my favorites, for its use of simple winter squash and potatoes, subtle flavor and soothing effects.
Easy on the belly, yet nuanced with subtle flavor, they call it Aloo aur Kaddu (potato with pumpkin). This is a traditional Northern Indian recipe, using ghee (a must) and whole spices, but surprisingly no onion, garlic or ginger. This is intentional here- designed to soothe, relax and comfort the body, rather than energize it.
Once the ingredients are gathered, it’s very simple and easy to make, taking just 30 minutes. Serve it with Fluffy Basmati Rice for a simple wholesome vegetarian meal.
I love this recipe because once you get a feel for it, you’ll have a better understanding of traditional Indian cooking overall. It’s kind of mind-opening.
Rajasthani Butternut Squash Curry | 2-minute video
Trust the process. Prepare it on a day when you have to time to enjoy the experience. Like I said, it’s actually a very easy recipe, once the ingredients are gathered. A visit to an Asian or Indian store will probably be likely, or order spices ahead online, like on amazon. The leftovers get better and better as the flavors meld… happy lunches in store for you!
Here I’ve used 1 pound of pre-cut butternut squash ( larger 1 ½ inch cubes) and 1 pound of potatoes.
Always cut the potatoes smaller than the butternut squash, to help them cook at the same speed.
You could use all butternut if you like. Non-waxy potatoes work best here – russets or yukon golds, allowing more of the flavor to soak in.
In a large skillet, whole spices are toasted in ghee ( clarified butter) until incredibly fragrant.
And trust me when I tell you, the ghee absolutely makes dish. It really enhances the flavor. You could make this vegan, but it looses all magic.
Add a tomato, a few tablespoons yogurt, then the butternut, potatoes and water to steam. Cover and cook for 15 minutes until the butternut and potatoes are tender. The sauce is subtle, not at all spicy, comforting, delicious. The butternut will cook faster than the potatoes so cut the potatoes a little smaller, to help even out the cooking time. See recipe notes.
To me this is pure and total comfort food.
Ghee is surprisingly quite healing and soothing on the belly. It is butter that has been clarified-heated and then all milk are solids removed. Those who are lactose intolerant do surprisingly well with ghee, since all the lactose is removed.
Hope you enjoy this very soothing and authentic Butternut and Potato Curry as much as we have!
Have a cozy weekend! xoPrint
- 1 pound butternut squash or pumpkin or winter squash, cubed into 1 ½ inch pieces)
- 1 pound Yukon gold potatoes – cubed into 1-inch pieces – please see notes.
- 3 tablespoons ghee ( you could sub olive oil, but ghee absolutely makes this dish)
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 whole cloves
- 2 whole cardamon pods, broken open ( green if possible)
- 1 teaspoon nigella seeds (optional)
- ½ teaspoon mustard seeds ( black mustard seeds if possible)
- ½ teaspoon fenugreek seeds (or sub 1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves-add with tomatoes)
- 3 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon ground turmeric
- ½ teaspoon asafoetida powder (optional)
- 1 medium tomato, diced with juices
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice (or Amchoor powder-mango powder)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
( You want a total of 2 pounds squash and potatoes combined.)
Serve with Fluffy Basmati Rice
- Prep your winter squash and potatoes- making sure potatoes are cut a little smaller than squash-see notes.
- Gather all your spices together, the cooking part will go fast.
- In a large, heavy bottomed, or cast iron skillet, heat the ghee over medium heat.
- Add the bay leaves, cinnamon stick, whole cloves, smashed cardamon pods ( including shell) , nigella, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and sauté until they begin to crackle.
- Add the yogurt, chili powder, cumin, coriander, ground turmeric, optional asafoetida powder, and fry 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato and its juices and the lemon juice. Cook 2 minutes. Add water, salt and stir.
- Add the potatoes and the winter squash, give a stir, cover tightly and simmer gently 15-20 minutes until tender. Check for doneness. You want the potatoes to get tender, being careful not to overcook the butternut… so continue simmering covered, until potatoes are fork-tender, adding a splash more water to loosen up the flavorful sauce.
- Give a final stir, turn over onto a serving dish, scraping out all the goodies out of the bottom of the pan, piling it over the squash and potatoes. Remove the bay leaves if you like, or use them as a garnish.
- Serve with Fluffy Basmati Rice.
You want a total of 2 pounds squash and potatoes combined.
Cut potatoes smaller than squash, because they take a little longer to cook. Use peeled russets, or a non-waxy potato-like yukon ( a “drier” potato) for the best texture. With thin-skinned potatoes, you won’t need to peel. Waxy potatoes like red, or small whites, don’t allow the flavor to soak in quite as much and take a bit longer to cook.
Keywords: potato curry, aloo kaddu recipe, pumpkin curry, butternut curry, rajasthani food, Rajasthani kaddu, indian potato curry, north indian curry, curried butternut