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Squash, Chickpea and Coconut Curry Recipe

Updated on April 6, 2016
My Bell profile image

Marcelle enjoys preparing delicious meals for family and friends. She especially loves creating original, healthy vegetarian recipes.

Curry dishes originate in South and Southeastern Asia cuisine that is enjoyed today across the world. Dishes may incorporate meat, seafood or a variety of vegetables to make a vegetarian or vegan curry. Curry recipes may be wet using sauces of stock, yogurt and coconut milk, or may use very little liquid to create a dry curry. Seasonings used in curry typically include turmeric, cumin, fenugreek and coriander, but these and additional spiced added vary depending upon the region the curry is made. Commercially prepared curry powder, which combines a mix of these spices, originated in the Western world during the 18th century.



Curry Powder

The combination of healthy spices found in curry recipes can be found in a curry powder blend, making recipe preparation easy. The full list of spices included in curry powder vary from brand to brand. The McCormick brand of curry powder, for instance, lists the following ingredients in its spice blend: coriander, fenugreek, turmeric, cumin, black pepper, bay leaves, celery seed, nutmeg, cloves, onion, red pepper, and ginger. Most recipes require a generous amount of the spice so buying curry powder in bulk can be much less expensive.

One of the healthiest spices in this curry mix is turmeric and its phytonutrient curcumin. Read on to see how this spice, which gives curry powder its beautiful yellow-hue, provides a wealth of health benefits.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties of Turmeric and Curcumin

This brightly-hued spice stars prominently in any curry powder mix. Historically, turmeric has been used medicinally as an anti-inflammatory agent in Asian cultures for many years. The true star of this spice comes from the bright yellow pigment that gives turmeric its color, called curcumin. This phytonutrient contains powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Numerous studies have shown curcumin's anti-inflammatory effects to be comparable to prescription drugs hydrocortisone and phenylbutazone as well as over-the-counter anti-inflammatories such as Motrin.1 Here are just a few diseases and conditions that studies have shown turmeric and curcumin improve or help to prevent.

Turmeric Flower
Turmeric Flower | Source
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
    Researchers found curcumin to be an effective treatment for inflammatory bowel disease in studies, even in smaller amounts that could be consumed by including curries in one's diet.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
    Studies of patients with rheumatoid arthritis showed comparable improvements in morning stiffness and joint swelling between curcumin and the prescription drug phenylbutazone.
  • Cholesterol
    Studies have shown that the curcumin in turmeric may have cholesterol lowering effects by helping the liver clear more LDL (bad) cholesterol from the body.
  • Alzheimer's Disease
    Turmeric is a common spice in the Indian diet where levels of Alzheimer's disease are very low, according to epidemiological studies. For existing Alzheimer's patients, studies have shown that an active component found in this spice, bisdemethoxycurcumin, may help clear amyloid beta plaques that are characteristic of this disease.
  • Cancer
    The frequent use of turmeric has been associated with lower rates of colon, lung, breast and prostate cancers in epidemiological studies. Studies in the lab have showed that the curcumin in turmeric can prevent tumor formation and inhibit existing cancer from spreading.


Bulk Curry Powder

This recipe calls for 3 to 4 tablespoons of curry powder, which could leave a new and pricey spice bottle half empty. You can save money by purchasing curry powder in bulk. Be sure to look for a reputable organic product. I recommend this Frontier product that can be purchased through Amazon.

Bulk Dried Beans

Dried beans are much less expensive to use than canned beans, and the result can often be much tastier in recipes. Slow cooking foods makes using dried beans very easy since there is no soaking and cooking the beans in advance. It can be challenging to find organic dried beans at grocery stores, especially chickpeas or garbanzo beans. Amazon offers quality organic beans like these pictured here that can be purchased in various quantities.


Squash, Chickpea & Coconut Curry Recipe

Serve this meatless curry over basmati rice with whole grain naan bread on the side. It stores well for a few days in the refrigerator and can easily be used for a quick lunch.

5 stars from 6 ratings of Squash, Chickpea, and Coconut Curry

Cook Time

Prep time: 20 min
Cook time: 6 hours
Ready in: 6 hours 20 min
Yields: 6 Servings


  • 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 1/2 cups organic dried chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed and sorted
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 medium bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups light organic coconut milk
  • 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 bunch fresh spinach or kale, rinsed and chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh shelled peas, frozen may be used
  • chopped cilantro


  1. Add all prepared ingredients through turmeric spice to a 4-quart slow cooker. Cook on high for 6 hours.
  2. Add chopped spinach and peas during last 30 minutes of cooking.
  3. Serve over basmati or brown rice and top with chopped cilantro.
Nutrition Facts
Serving size: 6 Servings
Calories 174
Calories from Fat18
% Daily Value *
Fat 2 g3%
Carbohydrates 39 g13%
Fiber 7 g28%
Protein 7 g14%
Sodium 112 mg5%
* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.
Gather vegetables and other ingredients needed to make this Curry Recipe.
Gather vegetables and other ingredients needed to make this Curry Recipe. | Source
Rinse and sort dried chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans.
Rinse and sort dried chickpeas, also known as garbanzo beans. | Source
Chop vegetables and mince garlic cloves.
Chop vegetables and mince garlic cloves. | Source
Add chopped vegetables, coconut milk, vegetable broth, curry powder and turmeric to slow cooker.
Add chopped vegetables, coconut milk, vegetable broth, curry powder and turmeric to slow cooker. | Source
While the recipe cooks in the slow cooker, prepare spinach and peas.
While the recipe cooks in the slow cooker, prepare spinach and peas. | Source
Stir in spinach and peas during the last 30 minutes of cooking.
Stir in spinach and peas during the last 30 minutes of cooking. | Source




1 "Turmeric." The World's Healthiest Foods. The George Mateljan Foundation, 2015. Web. 09 Apr. 2015. <>.

"Curry." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 8 Apr. 2015. Web. 09 Apr. 2015. <>.


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    • My Bell profile image

      Marcelle Bell 2 years ago

      Thank you, Flourish! I enjoyed researching and learning more about turmeric's health perks. I've been adding it to more of my foods now. I love taking those pics too. One thing I love about about finding recipes online is how many include step-by-step pictures. It makes the recipe much easier to follow so I always incorporate that into my recipes.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 2 years ago from USA

      What an explosion of color and flavor! The health benefits certainly invite the reader to try this. Your photos are inviting as well!