Prawn and Butternut Curry with Spinach

This is a gentle curry made with garam masala because I can’t find my curry powder and didn’t want to start grinding spices. The mild flavour of golden butternut squash goes well with the sweet acidity of tomatoes, flavours lifted with lime juice and different succulent sweetness of prawns. A handful of spinach added at the end gives a burst of green iron to the curry which is delicious spooned over basmati rice but could be folded in paratha or other warmed flat bread.

Serves 2
Prep: 20 min
Cook: 25 min

225g raw jumbo prawns
1 large red onion
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ butternut squash (approx 300g)
4 tomatoes, approx 350g
1 garlic clove
2 tsp garam masala
150ml chicken, fish or vegetable stock
1 lime
75g young spinach

If using raw prawns, tip them onto a plate and leave to defrost over a few sheets of kitchen towel. Halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Heat the oil in a spacious, lidded sauté/frying pan over a medium-low heat and stir in the onion, stirring often as it wilts without crisping. Meanwhile, quarter the squash lengthways, scrape away the seeds and cut off the skin (it is edible but I prefer it removed). Cut in kebab-size pieces. Pour boiling water from the kettle over the tomatoes to immerse, leave 40 seconds, cut out the core in a pointed plug shape, cut in quarters, flake away the skin and scrape the seeds into a sieve over a bowl. Chop the flesh. Use the back of a spoon, to crush the seed juice into the bowl. Finely chop then crush the garlic to a juicy paste with the flat of a knife and pinch of salt. Stir garlic and then squash into the onion, cover the pan and cook for 5 minutes. Sprinkle garam masala over the squash, stir so it gets a chance to cook then add stock, tomato and juices and cook uncovered, stirring often, until the butternut is tender, the juices thickened. Add the defrosted prawns, padded dry with kitchen paper and toss until all have changed colour. Season to taste with lime juice and salt. When you are ready to eat – it reheats perfectly – stir in the spinach and heat through. The dish is ready when the spinach is wilted.