Kat's butternut squash curry

For those of us in the northern hemisphere, Autumn has just kicked in without so much as a wave goodbye from Summer. The nights are beginning to draw in early, and you may find you are traipsing brown and orange leaves in through the front door. There is an edge to the air which invites an extra layer and the desire to hunker down with a book, rather than lug ourselves outside for a wet and windy run.

The most noticeable shift of all might be the sudden craving for carbs; for sweet and warmth and cream. As we try to keep ourselves warm over winter, we naturally reach for heavier foods - the beauty of living in sync with the seasons. We replace our salads and summer greens with soups and grilled things with cheese on...

Kat's simple butternut squash curry fittingly heralds the beginning of October and ticks all the cosy, comforting boxes for the colder months. Squash is chock full of essential nutrients and fibre, helping to keep our gut in check and support our immune system. It can be easily switched for pumpkin or sweet potato.

2 tbsp of coconut oil or similar 1 tbsp black mustard seeds 1 tbsp cumin seeds 4 cardamom pods, split a handful of curry leaves 2 large red onions, chopped 3 garlic cloves, grated Thumb size piece fresh ginger, finely grated 2 tsp ground turmeric 1 tsp ground cumin 2 tbsp ground coriander powder 1 litre/1¾ pint hot vegetable stock 1kg/2lb 4oz peeled, deseeded butternut squash (prepared weight), cut into 2.5cm/1in chunks 250ml/9fl oz coconut cream 1 x 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed 200g/7oz green beans, cut into 2cm Heat the oil in a large saucepan over a medium to high heat, then add the mustard and cumin seeds, cardamom and curry leaves. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds, or until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Add the onions to the pan, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring often, for 8 minutes, or until softened and starting to brown. Toss the garlic and ginger into the pan and cook for 2 minutes. Lower the heat a little, stir in the ground spices and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Pour in the vegetable stock and bring to the boil. Add the butternut squash, bring back to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut cream, chickpeas and beans and cook for 10–15 minutes, or until the sauce is reduced and thickened slightly.

We recommend serving with brown rice and a cooling yoghurt or chutney to create a mouth-watering contrast in flavours and temperatures.