This dish is a one-pot wonder. It is filling, full of flavor, and can be served as a side, served over rice, or with added cooked chicken or tofu for a complete meal.


  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 10 ounces butternut or other winter squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces*
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 or 2 small green chiles, such as jalapeño or serrano
  • 3 medium shallots or 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • Handful of fresh or frozen curry leaves, optional
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Pinch of ground cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 pound mushrooms, rinsed, dried, and coarsely chopped**
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • Cilantro sprigs, coarsely chopped, for garnish


  1. In a wide pan, heat oil over medium-high. When hot, add squash cubes in one layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 2 minutes, letting cubes brown slightly, then flip and cook for 2 minutes more. Use a slotted spoon to lift squash out, and set aside.
  2. Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile to open it, but leave whole. (This helps the chiles heat the sauce without making it too spicy.) Set aside.
  3. Add shallots, a pinch of salt, and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, and curry leaves, if using, and let sizzle for 30 seconds. Then add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric, and chiles. Stir well and cook for 30 seconds more.
  4. Add mushrooms, season with salt, and toss to coat. Cook, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  5. Return squash cubes to skillet, stir in coconut milk, and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium and simmer for another 5-10 minutes. If mixture looks dry, thin with a little water or broth.
  6. Season to taste with Kosher salt and garnish with cilantro.


* Buy already peeled and cut squash to save time on busy weekday evenings.

** You can use any type of mushrooms, but a mixture of different kinds adds extra flavor.