Low-carb  squash and chickpea curry

Low-carb butternut squash and chickpea curry with cauliflower rice

This delicious, filling, low-carb curry is perfect for an autumnal evening meal, the palette reflecting the gorgeous oranges, greens and reds outside.

I try to create recipes that don’t involve any fiddly carb substitutes but I must confess there is one here and in any of my recipes that include my favourite rice substitute – cauliflower. Next to putting away clothes from the clothes drier, grating cauliflower is one of my most dreaded chores! Perhaps I just need to invest in a food processor.

If grating by hand it can take a while, which adds to the preparation time, but the curry needs to simmer for 40 minutes so there’s plenty of opportunity to grate then. On the plus side, although time-consuming to make, this delicious curry serves about 4 so is suitable for freezing for a healthy, quick midweek supper another time.

The squash and chickpeas cause my blood glucose levels to rise so I do need to inject a couple of units for this one.

The herbs and spices in this meal are particularly good for digestion. Coriander is anti-inflammatory and has been shown to lower cholesterol. Likewise ginger contains potent anti-inflammatory compounds and is used to alleviate stomach problems and nausea. Cumin aids digestion and absorption of nutrients. Turmeric is considered to be a ‘superfood’ and has many health benefits due to the curcumin, its yellow pigment.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 small-medium squash, cut into roughly equal chunks about 2-3 cm cubed
  • 1 red onion, sliced into strips
  • 2 large cloves of garlic
  • 1 red chilli
  • 1/2 knob ginger, peeled and sliced into matchsticks
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced into thin strips
  • 1 tin of chopped or plum tomatoes
  • 1 tin of coconut milk
  • 1 tin of chickpeas, drained
  • 1 generous handful of washed spinach
  • 20 curry leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of grainy mustard
  • 1 generous handful of parsley and/or coriander, washed and finely chopped
  • 1 medium-large cauliflower, grated (this serves two people comfortably – if cooking for four you’ll need 2 cauliflowers and double the grating patience..)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180 / 200 and Roast the squash in a drizzle of olive oil for 40 minutes or until crisp and brown. There’s no need to peel it unless you have a particular aversion to the skin but remember that this will prolong the preparation. If you like your curries spicy then you can season the squash with a sprinkle of mustard powder and/or chilli flakes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a hot pan cook off the onion, ginger, garlic, red pepper and chilli in a little olive oil. After 10 minutes or when the veggies are soft and glistening add the ground coriander, turmeric, cumin, curry leaves and the dollop of grainy mustard. Cook until the leaves become crispy.
  3. Add the tin of tomatoes and  coconut milk, and bring it to the boil.
  4. Simmer for 40 minutes, adding the chickpeas after 15 minutes and the roasted squash and spinach 5-10 minutes before the end. Keep your eye on the curry sauce and add a little water if the it starts to look a little dry.
  5. Meanwhile, about 5-10 minutes before the curry is ready, cook off the grated cauliflower in a pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. If you’re being careful of your fats then you can steam the cauliflower for 2-3 minutes but it becomes quite watery so my preferred method of cooking is frying it off.
  6. Once the cauliflower is ready, stir through a small handful of parsley.
  7. Serve with the curry and a further sprinkle of parsley on top.


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