Curry with garnish of pumpkin seeds and herbs in black bowl, with rice in bowl in top left and green cloth in top right corners.

Butternut Squash Coconut Chicken Curry with Apple

This simple butternut squash chicken curry with apple makes a delicious and healthy seasonal, easy dinner idea.
Course Dinner, Main
Cuisine Indian Fusion
Keyword butternut squash, chicken
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Monika Dabrowski


  • 1 small or ½ large butternut squash peeled, cubed (approx. 600g)
  • 4 small or 3 medium chicken breasts skinless, diced
  • ½ large bramley apple or another sour variety, use 1 apple if small, peeled, cored, cubed
  • ½ cup red lentils
  • 120 ml coconut milk
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger chopped
  • ½ chilli chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 green cardamom seeds
  • 1 tbsp each garam masala turmeric and coriander powders
  • 1 level tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 level teaspoon sea salt
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • 5-6 tbsp fresh coriander finely chopped
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds for sprinkling on top optional


  • Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. Place the buttenut squash and apple pieces on a large baking tray, sprinkle with the garam masala, drizzle with 2-3 tablespoons of oil and pop in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove the apples, put aside, and continue roasting for another 15 minutes or until the squash is tender and lightly browned.
  • Whilst the squash and apples are in the oven prepare the curry sauce. Puree the onion, garlic, ginger and chilli. Set aside.
  • In a large saucepan heat up 2 tablespoons of oil, add the bay leaf, cardamom seeds, turmeric, coriander and cumin powders and stir. Add the onion puree and stir thoroughly. Let cook for a minute or 2. Add the lentils, salt, water and coconut milk, stir and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the apple (it should be very soft so squash it with the back of the spoon to mix in with the sauce).
  • Fry the chicken pieces in 2 tablespoons of oil over a medium heat, turning often, for about 4 minutes (try not to overcook the chicken but do ensure it's not pink). Add the chicken and the roasted squash into the curry, along with any juices, as well as the fresh coriander, stir well, sprinkle toasted pumpkin seeds on top (optional) and enjoy!


Cook Time includes the time needed to roast the squash.