Pic of Indian spiced squash

Indian spiced squash

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Vegetarian mains

Indian spiced squash

Side Serves 5 40 min
This recipe is one exception to the rule that pumpkin and squash should not be cooked in water. The liquid becomes an integral part of the spiced mash so no flavour is lost. If there still seems to be a copious lake of liquid when the pumpkin is done, boil hard for a few minutes to reduce. Serve with coriander, yoghurt, and perhaps some rice or chapatis.


  • 1kg pumpkin or butternut squash
  • ½ star anise
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 50g lightly salted butter
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 small onion
  • ½ tbsp cumin seeds, coarsely crushed
  • ½ tbsp coriander seeds, coarsely crushed
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
  • 2.5cm piece fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1-2 green chillies, deseeded and chopped
  • handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
  • salt


Prep time: 10 min
Cooking time: 30 min
  • Step 1

    Peel the pumpkin, discard the seeds and cut into 2.5cm chunks. Place in a saucepan with the star anise, turmeric, bay leaf, sugar and salt. Add 150ml water, bring to the boil, then cover and simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin is very tender - about 20 minutes. Do not drain.
  • Step 2

    Just before serving, re-heat the pumpkin. Heat the butter with the oil in a small saucepan over a fairly high heat. Add the onion and fry until golden. Raise the heat and add the crushed cumin and coriander seeds, frizzle for about 20 seconds, then add the garlic, ginger and chilli and cook for about a minute more.
  • Step 3

    Transfer the pumpkin to a warm serving dish, mashing it slightly as you do so and pour over the sizzling butter. Stir lightly to streak the butter into pumpkin, then scatter with coriander leaves to serve.

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