Add Butternut Squash To Your Coconut Curry For A More Luxurious Taste

Bowl of butternut squash curry
Bowl of butternut squash curry - Elena Veselova/Shutterstock

On its own, coconut curry is fragrant and decadent. But what about when you're ready to take your recipe to the next level? Savory meets its ultimate sweet match with the addition of butternut squash. The silky texture of butternut squash, coupled with its naturally sweet and nutty flavor profile, pairs extraordinarily well with the rich, savory spices of a typical coconut curry. Not only do you get luxurious flavor, but you also get the smoothest and creamiest curry around. And boy, are you in for a treat!

A good coconut curry is all about layering ingredients until you reach the apex of balanced flavor. From the sizzle of warm, earthy cumin seeds hitting hot oil, to the moment you scoop the finished curry over fluffy rice, making a good curry is also an all-around experience for the senses. When you throw butternut squash into the mix, it gently simmers and breaks down, almost melting into the curry and adding a delightful layer of sweetness with rich, honeyed undertones.

Read more: 13 Unexpected Ingredients To Elevate Lasagna

A Match Made In Curry Heaven

Halved butternut squash
Halved butternut squash - Sveta_zarzamora/Getty Images

Typical in Southeast Asian cuisines such as Thai and Indian, coconut milk is generally favored over dairy as the creamy base for curries. It's not only the perfect fit for those with dairy intolerances, but it also adds some tropical flair, enhancing both flavor and richness. As such, coconut curry already offers some luxury — so why add butternut squash? While butternut squash has its roots in Central America, it eventually made its way around the globe. Many traditional coconut curries utilize pumpkin over butternut squash, but these days, fusion is where it's at. It's not unusual to find butternut squash popping up on the menus at Thai and Indian restaurants, bringing a unique twist to classic dishes.

The best part about incorporating butternut squash into a coconut curry is the celebratory marriage of sweet and savory. Think apples and cheese, or mango and chiles — two distinct flavors coming together to create something truly extraordinary. Spices such as coriander, mustard seeds, and fenugreek reach another level of complexity when butternut squash hits the pot. As the butternut squash simmers, it absorbs the rich aromatic spices, transforming into something that can only be described as curry nirvana, with each bite offering the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, as well as a tender, velvety texture that delights the palate.

Cultivating Luxury

Variety of spices
Variety of spices - Fcafotodigital/Getty Images

To truly elevate a butternut squash coconut curry, there are a few key things to keep in mind. As with any decent curry, begin by blooming your spices in a fat such as oil or ghee in a hot pan before adding the coconut milk and butternut squash. This ensures you get the optimal flavors from the spices before adding additional ingredients. When it comes to the squash, fresh butternut squash works best, as the frozen variety is likely to release too much moisture. Peel and cube the squash into 1-inch pieces, and be sure to use full-fat coconut milk for the creamiest results.

Towards the end of the cooking process, a touch of acidity, such as a squeeze of lemon juice, will help brighten and lift the curry. A garnish of fresh cilantro or Thai basil will add freshness and visual appeal. To further enhance the presentation of this colorful dish, consider finishing it off with a hefty dollop of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of toasted cashews.

By following the above tips, you can transform a simple curry into an unforgettable dining experience that will impress even the most skeptical guests. Don't forget to savor every luxurious bite!

Read the original article on Tasting Table.