Squash and Beetroot Tops Curry

There’s always something lurking in your fridge that, given a bit of thought, can be turned into a really tasty meal! Regularly, I carry out something I like to refer to as a “Fridge Audit” where I go through everything and see what I can use up rather than throw out. I hate waste and I particularly hate food waste, but I also completely love left overs and remnants because it makes me think about how best to use things up! Soups, stews, currys and salads are great ways to use up leftover veggies, remnants of the Sunday roast etc etc! This recipe was borne out of the fact that I had half a beautiful local and organic golden squash left over and some beetroot tops that I separated from some (yes you guessed it) beetroots that I pick up recently!

After a long weekend of eating out and drinking quite a bit (Hallowe’en is my most favourite bank holiday weekend!), I felt that I was in need of a tasty veg hit and so this recipe for Squash and Beetroot Tops Curry was born!  Of course, you can subsitute squash for butternut squash or pumpkin, even sweet potato and of course if you haven’t had the fortune to save some beetroot tops then you can substitute for chard or spinach, even kale although the beet tops have a lovely slight citrus quality that the others don’t have, as well as that wonderful earthiness that all iron rich leafy greens have!


(serves 2 – 4 depending on portion size and accompaniements)

  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp nigella seeds
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 3 small dried chilli pods (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp dried curry leaves
  • 2 small onions
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 800g squash / pumpkin, deseeded and peeled, cut into 2cm chunks
  • 400g can of chopped tomatoes
  • 400ml of veg stock (make it up in the can to get all the tomato juices, but be careful and use a towel as the hot water will come through the can and burn)
  • Generous handful of beet leaves and their stalks
  • Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
  • Coriander to serve
  • Basmati rice to serve


  • Place all the dried spices (except the curry leaves) into a dry pan on a medium high heat and toast for a couple of minutes.  Move them around to ensure they do not burn.  If they burn you will have to start again.
  • Place the toasted spices into a pestle and mortar / spice grinder and bash into a fine grain.
  • Heat some peanut / olive oil in a deep pan / curry pot and gently fry the onions until softened.
  • Add the crushed spices and tomato puree and combine.
  • Add the chopped squash and stir to coat with the spice mixture.
  • Add the tinned tomatoes and stock.  Lower the heat slightly, and cover to cook for about 10 minutes or until the squash has begun to soften (test using a knife / skewer).
  • Uncover the pan and add the curry leaves.  Stir again and leave to simmer for the sauce to thicken and reduce by half.
  • When the sauce has thickened, add the beet stalks first to cook slightly to soften.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Turn off the heat, add the beet leaves and allow to wilt slightly before mixing them through.
  • Serve up with some basmati rice, freshly chopped coriander; some poppadoms and mango chutney.


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