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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.
For more info on ghee‘s healing and Ayurvedic properties, read this. It is quite interesting.
Hope you enjoy this very soothing and authentic Butternut and Potato Curry as much as we have!
Have a cozy weekend! xoPrint
Rajasthani Butternut Squash and Potato Curry
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 20
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 4 1x
- Category: main, vegetarain, curry
- Method: stove-top
- Cuisine: Indian, Rajasthani, Hindu, North Indian
A soothing and comforting North Indian Butternut Squash and Potato Curry hailing from Rajasthan, featuring winter squash and potatoes, using whole spices and ghee, served over fluffy basmati rice.
- 1 pound butternut squash or pumpkin or winter squash, cubed into 1 1/2 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)
- 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds ( black mustard seeds if possible)
- 1/2 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
- 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1/2 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 salt, more to taste
( 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, taste for salt, adjusting to taste, turn over onto a serving dish, scraping out all the goodies out of the bottom of the pan, and pile 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.
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 242
- Sugar: 5.5 g
- Sodium: 489.6 mg
- Fat: 10.4 g
- Saturated Fat: 5.9 g
- Carbohydrates: 35.7 g
- Fiber: 6.7 g
- Protein: 5.3 g
- Cholesterol: 24.6 mg
Keywords: potato curry, aloo kaddu recipe, pumpkin curry, butternut curry, rajasthani food, Rajasthani kaddu, indian potato curry, north indian curry, curried butternut
Delicious. However, mine did need 40 mins of cooking. I cooked the recipe as per instructions apart from the asafoetida (which I will endeavour to restock in my kitchen cupboards) use next time because I love the taste it imparts even though it’s used in very few recipes I’ve cooked. A little more salt to taste was very necessary which I added at the end of the cooking time.
Glad you were able to make this work!
Ingredient list and flavor profile is similar to aloo gobi but we like aloo way better. Just not how we prefer to eat our squash, for one.
Sorry this wasn’t your favorite. It’s a mellow-flavored recipe, for sure…
Very good, also a very different type of curry from what I am used to, about to make it for the second time, we grow 100s of kg of squash and potato so this will not be the last time either
Glad you enjoyed this Sam- one of my favorites!
I was looking to use up a bit of squash and a bit of sweet potato in a curry and came across this recipe. To make up the weight I added a little carrot and some potato and bashed on. The result was outstanding. The method is easy and quick and the balance of the spices spot on. Thank you for the recipe,
Thanks for another fail proof recipe! Despite my understaffed spice drawer, the dish was very tasty, quick to prepare, and hearty.
Glad it worked out Ingrid!
Used yellow crooked neck squash from garden.
Nice flavour. Simple to make.
Needs more salt (add additional 1.5tsp) salt in water.
Thanks Preed, I will note the recipe to adjust salt to taste. Thanks!
This looks amazing! Can I make this with sweet potatoes?
I bet that would be good!
I added beef before the Vegies and stewed for an hour then added the Veg as per directions. Very nice Thank you.
This dish was fantastic! I cut the potatoes and pumpkin into the side recommended and it took the time stated. I learnt the hard way to cut the hard veg into small pieces whenever simmering is required. Every recipe we have made of yours has been a success! You are truly a brilliant cook. Thank you for generously sharing your talent with us!!
thanks so much!
We didn’t even have all the ingredients at hand, substituted and adjusted a little here and there – we didn’t even have a tomato and just went with a spoonful of tomato paste… and yet it worked out amazing. So rich and flavourful! Nevertheless, I think the tomato is key here and will give some freshness to it that will surely do some magic combined with the deep heartiness of it all – Looking forward to making the real deal next time.This is the first of your recipes I tried and definitely not the last 🙂 Thank you!
This recipe was not flavorful.
The butternut squash and potato’s would be better roasted – but honestly don’t think this is the best combo anyhow. 15-20 minutes was not nearly enough time for my potatoes and squash to cook properly.
Overall, I think this recipe is not my flavor palate and I will not be making it again.
Sorry this didn’t work for you Emily. Quick question, did you use ghee?
This recipe is amazing! And true, the flavors are very subtle, yet complex and with depth. I pre roasted the potatoes and squash to give more flavor and speed the cooking and used homemade broth instead of water. I did not have nigella seeds. But it came together beautifully.
Wow, the ghee flavour is sublime. I’m a regular curry maker and over 30 years of recipes, this has to be a favourite!! I was a bit more generous with nigella seeds and added a tap of fenugreek powder too along with a good handful of coriander leaves to serve. Simply heaven, thanku 🥇
Just made this. Super quick and easy. I subbed a can of diced tomatoes because I didn’t have fresh and used coconut oil in place of ghee. And I used vegan yogurt.
I’m daydreaming about all the other veggies I can add next time I make this.
Hi Sylvia! I came across your site searching for sourdough recipes. This is a wonderful recipe. I love the way you had used spices to incorporate flavors.
I think the dry mango powder is misspelled, I guess it is autocorrect mistake. It is called Amchoor powder.
Thanks for sharing this recipe.
Thanks Padma- appreciate this and will fix the spelling error.
Well unfortunately, due to my husband’s allergies, I had to omit the tomatoes. I also subbed coconut milk for yogurt. Even without tomatoes, this came out pretty tasty! A lot of the ingredients were new to me, so it was a nice change of pace. I always have butternut squash left over, so this is a simple recipe that will go nicely in the rotation when I need to use up that squash.
Great to hear. FYI, the yogurt and tomatoes add a little acidity here, so you may want to compensate next time, a few drops of lemon juice?