Today we serve up a flavorful Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry along with wine from Alsace. This curry can be served as a vegetarian main or a delicious side dish. Disclosure: The Alsace wines discussed here were sent as complimentary samples as part of the French #Winophiles Alsace wine event.
I made this Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry several times in the fall and winter when squash was rolling in. After referencing squash curry recipes from Chelsea’s Messy Apron and Pinch of Yum, I came up with this version that includes chickpeas for extra protein and substance.
With the addition of legumes this could easily be served as a vegetarian main course. But in our house, I almost always make it to go alongside Indian Butter Chicken.
So keep this chickpea curry in mind when you need a good side for Indian food, or when you want a flavorful meatless meal.
Although I mention serving this recipe with Indian Butter Chicken, it leans more to a Thai style curry with the use of curry pasta and coconut milk.
I don’t publish too many butternut squash recipes in the summer time. But when I was thinking about dishes to make to serve with the Alsace white wines that were headed my way, I recalled this recipe had been waiting in the queue to get published. I correctly anticipated this curry recipe would be a great partner for wine from Alsace!
Some of you are here for the recipe, some for the wine…and hopefully, many of you are interested in both! Use the links below to navigate to what is of interest to you.
Ingredient notes and swaps
- Onions I typically use a basic yellow onion, but you can substitute a shallot if you like. I also used a spring onion bulb from a recent farm share, and that worked nicely.
- Squash I used butternut squash in the original recipe, but have also used buttercup and kabocha squash. So there is some flexibility here.
- Red curry paste is a common ingredient for flavoring Thai food. Ingredients typically include red chili peppers, lemongrass and garlic. I find it in a small glass jar at Whole Foods and other grocery stores. Amazon link (affiliate) included in case you need to order some.
- Cardamom is something you might not have in your spice rack. You could use garam masala instead, an Indian spice blend which typically includes cardamom.
- Fresh ginger brings lively flavor to the dish. I would not recommend swapping dried ginger for the fresh ginger root in the recipe.
Tips for making the recipe
This is definitely one of those recipes where it is a good idea to get things chopped up before you start cooking. So start by chopping the onions, garlic, ginger and butternut squash.
Once you get to the point the squash is simmering, you have about 20 minutes where you don’t need to worry about this dish and can focus on other things.
Preparing butternut squash
Butternut squash has a thick skin to peel before you start chopping. Be sure to have a good sharp vegetable peeler ready to go! I like the OXO peeler (Amazon affiliate link provided for convenience if you need one!).
Once you have the butternut squash peeled, then you have the task of removing the seeds.
My go to trick — use an ice cream scooper with a sharp point to scoop out those seeds! This works for acorn squash too, as shown above.
You can buy prepared butternut squash at the grocery store, but don’t get it too far in advance. I find that the prepared chopped squash doesn’t last more than a couple days after being peeled.
I initially thought I might try multiple Alsace wines with our butternut squash chickpea curry, but wound up focusing on the 2019 Willm Reserve Alsace Riesling (12% ABV) with this dish.
This Alsace Riesling has green apple on the nose. On the palate, peach fruit with subtle undertones of minerality. Well-balanced, long finish.
As expected, the Alsace Riesling from Willm is an excellent pairing for our squash curry, refreshing the palate after the spicy curry.
Maison Willm has been making high quality Alsace wines for 120 years. They are located in the Barr region of central Alsace. Maison Willm makes a range of wines typical for Alsace, including Sylvaner, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris and Pinot Blanc.
I was initially going to open the Domaines Schumberger Pinot Gris to try with the curry, but wound up saving it for the next evenings meal. But I do think with its honey and green apple flavor profile, with a bit of sweetness, the Pinot Gris would also be a good match for the curry.
For inquiring minds that want to know, we wound up serving with the zucchini butter spaghetti from smitten kitchen. I definitely recommend trying this delicious vegetarian pasta recipe next time you are wondering what to do with abundant summer zucchini!
More Alsace wine pairings
We had one more bottle for the July Winophiles event — the Trimbach Pinot Blanc. It may not have been a classic pairing, but this Alsace Pinot Blanc worked pretty well for our taco night!
Our tacos had refried beans, a bit of ground beef, and healthy topping of a Mexican spiced cucumber yogurt topping I whipped together. Showing the versatility of Alsace wines, I enjoyed sipping the Alsace Pinot Blanc for this Taco Tuesday!
As I have said, I love Alsace wines with curry and other Asian food. Here are a few other pairings we have enjoyed:
- Pork and Cabbage Stir Fry with Alsace Riesling
- Chipotle Chicken and Black Beans with Sipp Mack Gewurztraminer
About the Alsace Wine Region
Alsace is located in the northeast corner of France, along the border with Germany. Protected by the Vosges Mountains, Alsace is a dry region with plenty of sunshine for growing grapes.
I definitely associate aromatic white wines with the Alsace region, so it is no surprise to read that 90% of the regions wines are white. The top three grapes based on acres planted are Pinot Blanc, Riesling and Gewurztraminer.
The sparkling wine Crémant d’Alsace is also a significant part of wine production in Alsace. We had fun coming up with our best food pairings for Crémant d’Alsace awhile back; check out that article for more on the region.
As travel starts to become more feasible again, it is also worth noting that Alsace is home to the oldest established wine route, 105 miles of wineries to visit along with some great scenery!
My Winophiles colleagues will surely be sharing more insights about Alsace, check out their articles via the links that follow our recipe card.Print
Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry
Butternut Squash Chickpea Curry is a flavorful recipe that makes a great side dish or a vegetarian main course.
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 35 mins
- Total Time: 50 mins
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
- Category: side dish
- Method: stove top
- Cuisine: Thai
- Diet: Vegan
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped — about 5 cups squash
- 2 tsp curry powder
- ½ tsp dry cardamom
- 3 tbsp red curry paste
- a 14 ½ oz can coconut milk – shake well before opening and using
- a 14 ½ oz can roasted tomatoes
- 1 tsp honey
- a 14 ½ oz can chickpeas
- 2 cups or so baby spinach
- 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
- Start the onions: Heat the cooking oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add the onions, sauté until they soften, about 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and ginger. Cook until the garlic starts releasing its fragrance, about one minute.
- Stir in the squash along with the curry powder and cardamom. Add the coconut milk, followed by the curry paste, honey and tomatoes. Stir to combine the ingredients.
- Bring the liquid to a vigorous simmer, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer covered until the squash starts to get soft, about 20 minutes.
- Add the chickpeas and spinach, stirring to combine. Simmer for another 5 minutes, uncovered. Finish the dish by sprinkling the cilantro over the curry.
- Serve the butternut chickpea curry with rice or other grain, as a vegetarian main or a side dish.
- A shallot can be used instead of an onion if you like.
- Other winter squash, such as kabocha and buttercup squash, can be used instead of butternut squash.
- An ice cream scooper can be hand for scooping out the squash seeds.
Keywords: chickpea curry, butternut squash curry, Riesling pairings
More Alsace wine articles
- 3 Riesling from Alsace by Wine Predator…Gwendolyn Alley
- All About the Wines of Alsace by Vino Travels
- Alsace Wine and Cold Poached Salmon with Sauce Verte (Green Mayonnaise) by Our Good Life
- Alsace Wines’ Heart and Soul – Land Sustainability, Family Tradition and Food Compatibility by Chinese Food and Wine Pairings
- Alsace Wines Shine with Summer’s Bounty Risotto by Food Wine Click!
- Blending Innovation and Tradition with Wines of Alsace by L’Occasion
- Domaines Schlumberger 2018 Pinot Blanc: A Delectable Grape Mutation + Criques de Pommes de Terre by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Five Winemaking Women of Alsace by My Full Wine Glass
- Once Upon a Wine in Alsace by Wining With Mel
- Shrimp Louis Sandwiches paired with an Alsace Pinot Blanc by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Summer Food Pairings with Alsace Wines by Always Ravenous
- Wines of Alsace Bring the Wow Every Time by What’s in that Bottle?
- Women of Alsace – Conversations with 4 Women on their Family Wineries in Alsace by Crushed Grape Chronicles
- Zind Humbrecht Pinot Blanc with a Leek & Bacon Tart by Somm’s Table