Roast but­ter­nut squash curry

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1 medium but­ter­nut

squash (1kg), cut in half length­ways, de­seeded, then cut into 1.5cm skin-on half-moons 3½ tbsp olive oil Salt and black pep­per

1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped 1 large car­rot, peeled and cut into ¼cm-thick rounds 4 gar­lic cloves, peeled and crushed 1cm piece fresh gin­ger, peeled and roughly chopped 1½ tsp tomato paste 1 tbsp mild curry pow­der

½ tsp garam masala 1 small bak­ing po­tato, peeled, halved and cut into 5mm-thick slices 1¾ tbsp soy sauce ½ tbsp maple syrup 100g baby spinach 1½ tbsp co­rian­der leaves, roughly chopped

1 red chilli, thinly sliced (de­seeded, if you pre­fer less heat) 2 tsp black sesame seeds 1 lime, cut into 4 wedges This mildly spiced dish is easy to make, and re­ally show­cases the essence of but­ter­nut squash, thanks to the fact that it is roasted sep­a­rately from the sauce. Sea­sonal pump­kins, sweet po­tato – or any root veg­etable, re­ally – can be used in­stead of the but­ter­nut. The sauce can be made one or two days ahead: just add a splash of wa­ter to re­heat, be­cause it tends to thicken as it sits.

Heat the oven to 240C (220C fan)/ gas 9. In a large bowl, com­bine the squash with one and a half ta­ble­spoons of oil, three-quar­ters of a tea­spoon of salt and a good grind of pep­per. Trans­fer to two oven trays lined with bak­ing pa­per and roast for 30 min­utes, un­til cooked through and golden brown, then set aside.

Mean­while, heat the re­main­ing two ta­ble­spoons of oil in a large saute pan on a medium-high flame, then fry the onion and car­rot for about seven min­utes, un­til soft­ened and lightly browned.

Add the gar­lic, gin­ger, tomato paste and spices, and cook for a minute more, un­til fra­grant.

Add the po­tato, soy sauce, maple syrup, 850ml wa­ter, half a tea­spoon of salt and a good grind of black pep­per, and leave to sim­mer for 15 min­utes, un­til the liq­uid has re­duced slightly and the veg­eta­bles have cooked through.

Tip into a blender (or use a stick blender) and blitz for about a minute, un­til com­pletely smooth, then pour back into the pan and put on a medium-high heat. Add the spinach, cook for two min­utes, un­til wilted, then gen­tly stir in the roast squash to coat, and cook for four min­utes, to heat through.

Di­vide the curry be­tween four plates, top with the co­rian­der, chilli and sesame seeds, and serve each por­tion with a wedge of lime.

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