Ren's Pumpkin Rescue Curry

Ren created this recipe especially for collaboration with the charity HUBBUB. The curry is a take on the famous Baigan Bharta, which is made from aubergine.
You will end up with a really flavoursome pumpkin mash.
Ren is afraid that she too, is guilty of wasting pumpkin and squash’s during autumn and winter!


  • 1 large butternut squash
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 3 tbsp. sunflower oil
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
  • 1 dried red chilli
  • 5-8 black pepper corns
  • 3 cloves
  • 1 cardamom pod split
  • 1 large cinnamon stick
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 medium red onions, sliced
  • 1 tin of chopped tomatoes
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed.
  • 1tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin & coriander powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 2 tbsp garam masala
  • As much as you like of red chilli powder
  • Tsp. tomato puree
  • 1tsp ketchup
  • 100ml hot water
  • 1 tsp Jaggery (Indian Sugar)
  • Large handful of chopped coriander


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180o
  2. Cut the squash in half and then length ways, place on an ovenproof dish, drizzle with the salt and 1 tbsp. of the oil. Bake the squash for 45 minutes at least. The flesh needs to be completely soft
  3. Whilst the Squash is cooking make the sauce
  4. Place the oil in the pan and let it warm up, then add the ghee,
  5. You want a medium heat otherwise the oil & ghee will burn
  6. Once the ghee has dissolved add the red chilli, peppercorns, cloves, cardamom pod, and cinnamon, let all this sizzle for a few seconds, put the lid on at this stage as the spices can spit out at you, which really hurts! , Do a test with the cumin to make sure that the oil and ghee is hot enough, just throw a couple into the fat, if the cumin fizzes immediately then add the rest, if it doesn’t, be patient and wait until it does fizz. Once you have added the cumin – place the lid on the pan and wait for 10 seconds and then add the onions
  7. You need the onions to gently fry for 8-10 minutes, stir them every 2 minutes to make sure that they are not sticking to your pan or getting burnt
  8. Once the onions have turned golden brown add the chopped tomatoes crushed garlic, Jaggery, salt, cumin & coriander powder, turmeric, Garam masala, red chilli powder, tomato puree, ketchup and the hot water. At this stage the sauce needs to cook for a further 10 minutes turn the heat down, and put the lid on, stir every 3 minutes
  9. Remove the squash from the oven. Leave to cook and then carefully remove the flesh from the skin
  10. Mash the flesh up and then add it to your sauce
  11. Mix thoroughly and cook for a further 10 minutes
  12. Once your delicious curry is cooked, stir in a large handful of washed and chopped coriander
  13. Serve the curry with some lovely hot chapattis and freshly made brown rice with a topping of fried egg perhaps

Servings: 4

Level of difficulty: intermediate

Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cooking Time: 1 Hour 20 minutes

And lots of love from Ren xx

Pumpkin and squash

Read more about Ren’s Kitchen here, and don’t forget to support the Burnt Chef Project to help burn away mental health stigma within hospitality once and for all!