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Sunny Sri Lankan Curry

Sunny Sri Lankan Curry
Sunny Sri Lankan Curry

This recipe is such a goody. It’s a great dish to make in the winter as it warms you up really well but it’s also a great dish to make in the summer because it’s so colourful, flavourful and fresh. This is definitely a curry that could make it into your regular recipe repertoire because it really is, downright delicious.


Before you start

Preheat oven to 180°C | Line a baking tray with parchment paper | Small baking tray | Fine grater or microplane | Large saucepan or wok


  • 1 small butternut squash (about 400g)
  • 1 tsp vegetable oil
  • 20g cashews
  • 2 eschalion (banana) shallots
  • 3 large garlic cloves
  • 5cm piece fresh ginger (about 20g)
  • 1 fresh green bird’s-eye chilli
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 15 curry leaves, optional
  • 200ml reduced-fat coconut milk
  • 200ml water
  • 10g desiccated coconut
  • 100g fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1⁄2 lime
  • 10g fresh coriander leaves, optional
  • salt and black pepper


  1. 1.

    First, prep the squash and cashews | Trim and peel the butternut squash, halve it and scoop out the seeds | Cut the squash into 2.5cm cubes | Spread the cubes over the lined baking tray, drizzle over the vegetable oil, season with salt and pepper, put the tray in the oven and roast for 30 minutes until tender | Toast the cashews in the oven on the small baking tray for the last 5–8 minutes until golden, then roughly chop

  2. 2.

    Now, prep the rest of your ingredients | Peel and finely dice the shallots | Peel and grate the garlic | Peel the ginger by scraping off the skin with a spoon, then grate | Rip the stem from the chilli, cut it in half lengthways and remove the seeds if you prefer, then finely slice | Trim, halve, core and dice the peppers

  3. 3.

    Time to cook the curry! | Heat the coconut oil in the large saucepan or wok over a medium heat | Add the shallots and a pinch of salt and cook, stirring, for 4–5 minutes | Add the garlic, ginger and chilli and stir for 1 minute | Add the turmeric, curry powder, mustard seeds, tomato purée and curry leaves (if using) and stir for 30 seconds | Add the peppers and stir for 1 minute | Pour the coconut milk, water and half the desiccated coconut into the pan (reserve the rest to sprinkle over the curry at the end) | Stir to combine, turn up the heat and simmer for 4–5 minutes

  4. 4.

    Add the spinach and stir to wilt | Add the roasted butternut squash cubes and fold them into the curry | Squeeze the juice from the lime into the pan and fold it into the sauce

  5. 5.

    Taste the curry, season to perfection with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the cashews, coriander leaves (if using) and remaining desiccated coconut and serve immediately

  6. 6.

    Serves 4