Spice up your fall menu with this rich, satisfying Wild Mushroom and Butternut Squash Curry. The vegetables are simmered in coconut milk and flavored with warm, aromatic spices. It’s a great way to enjoy the variety of wild and cultivated mushrooms available this time of year.
This dish is all about the mushrooms. I love their woodsy umami flavor. Mushrooms look magical to me. Each one has a unique color and gill structure. Some have little round caps and others like the oyster mushrooms are feathery.
By that’s not all, mushrooms have nutritional superpowers:
- Age Gracefully – They have high amounts of two antioxidants, ergothioneine and glutathione, which are both said to slow the aging process and bolster health, according to a team of Penn State researchers. There are different amounts of the antioxidants in different species but the wild porcini has the most.
- Anti-inflammatory – The powerful antioxidant ergothioneine helps lower inflammation throughout the body
- High in Vitamin D & B – Mushrooms are one of the few food sources of vitamin D, a fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies only make when exposed to sunlight. Button mushrooms and criminis are especially high in vitamin D. Cremini’s are also high in Vitamin B12 which is usually found in animal products. They are a great food for vegetarians.
- Lowers Cholesterol – Mushrooms are naturally high in fiber and low in cholesterol. In addition according to Dr. Josh Axe “mushrooms contain potent phytonutrients that help keep cells from sticking to blood vessel walls and forming plague buildup, which maintains healthy blood pressure and improves circulation.”
- Boosts Immunity – Shiitake mushrooms contain lentinan, a type of sugar molecule that boosts your immune system and prevents cancer. Common button mushrooms and other varieties also contain beta-glucan another sugar that helps boost immunity.
I had the good fortune of hunting for wild porcini’s a few years ago with a Russian friend, what a magical experience. While in Tuscany and we saw lots of people out in the woods hunting for them but didn’t have a chance to join them. I hope to go mushroom hunting again one day. We went truffle hunting instead.
Since it’s fall, I wanted this dish to be hearty. I included cubes of butternut squash with their beautiful orange color and sweet starchy flavor.
There are only a few spices to get together. Black mustard and cumin seeds are sizzled in coconut oil with shallots. Coriander, garlic, turmeric, and cayenne are added. A green chili is added to balance the sweetness of the coconut sauce, it doesn’t make it spicy. I leave the chili whole but cut 2 slits allowing the flavor of the chili to release into the sauce without making it too spicy. You can make it as spicy as you want by adding more cayenne.
There is a bit of chopping to do when making this recipe but the result is worth it. Once you cut the butternut squash, slice the mushrooms, mince the shallots and garlic, the dish comes together very quickly. Cut everything up before you begin.
I recommend measuring the mustard and cumin seeds in one bowl and the coriander, turmeric, and cayenne in another to have ready. You won’t have time to measure once you start cooking.
A sprinkle of lime at the end adds a hint of acidity to balance the flavors.
This is a welcome hearty fall dish of magical mushrooms, aromatic spices, creamy coconut and bright rich squash.Print
A hearty warm and comforting fall dish inspired by David Tanis.
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 ¼ cups butternut squash, peeled and diced into ½ inch cubes
- Celtic sea salt and fresh pepper
- 1 small green chili, jalapeno or Serrano
- 3 medium shallots, finely diced
- ½ teaspoon black mustard seeds
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 pound mushrooms, a variety of cultivated and wild, trimmed and sliced
- 1 cup coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- Cilantro for garnish
- Prepare all the vegetables and measure the spices into separate bowls before you begin.
- Cut two slits in the chili to open it but leave it whole. (this allows the flavor of the chili to release into the sauce without making it too spicy). Set aside.
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat.
- Add squash cubes in one layer, season with salt and pepper.
- Cook for 2 minutes, letting the cubes brown slightly,
- Flip and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Remove from pan and set aside.
- Add the final tablespoon of coconut oil to the same pan. Add shallots, sprinkle with salt and sauté stirring 1 minute. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and let sizzle for 30 seconds.
- Add garlic, coriander, cayenne, turmeric and the whole chili. Stir.
- Add mushrooms to the pan, season with salt and toss to coat with the spices. It will look like a lot of mushrooms but they will cook down.
- Continue to sauté, on medium high, stirring, until mushrooms begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
- Return squash cubes to the pan, stir in coconut milk and bring to a simmer.
- Lower heat to medium-low and simmer, covered for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms are tender. Stir occasionally.
- Taste and season with salt.
- Just before serving stir in lime juice.
- Garnish with cilantro.
Sweet potatoes or carrots can be used instead of butternut squash.
- Category: Vegan, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Paleo
- Cuisine: Seasonal, Farm to Table
If you make this recipe, be sure to snap a photo and hashtag it #Eat_Well_Enjoy_Life. I’d love to see what you cook!
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