Butternut Squash thoran

Fall season offers a variety of squash and gourds that can be overwhelming to cook with but my favorite way is to make it South Indian way with coconut and tamarind.

Butternut Squash thoran

Recipe by Smita ChutkeCourse: Fall, QuicknEasy, Smita’sCookery Veggie Spice, Uncategorized, Vegan, Vegetarian


Prep time


Cooking time



Thoran is a dry stir fry with coconut and spices from South India. With many variations to prepare this dish the common ingredient is coconut. For preparing anything like Squash, beets it needs to be flavored with extra heat and some sourness. The best would be tamarind juice. If you cannot find some fresh tamarind to extract the juice then you can find the concentrate in Indian groceries. You can also add fresh lime juice at the end if you do not have tamarind.


  • 2 cups peeled & diced Butternut Squash

  • 1 poblano pepper diced or 1 tbsp jalapeno

  • 1 tsp Smita’sCookery Veggie Spice

  • Raw coconut ¼ cup

  • ¼ -1 tsp red chili powder(depending upon the heat you can take)

  • ¼ tsp of mustard seeds(Optional)

  • 1 sprig of curry leaves (optional)

  • 2 tbsp tamarind paste dissolved into water or 1 whole fresh tamarind soaked in water

  • 2 lime juice

  • Chopped herbs ( any from your choice, i prefer Coriander or dill or microgreens)

  • Sea salt to taste

  • cooking oil ( i prefer raw coconut oil)

  • Microgreens ( the one in the picture is edible Nasturtium leaves)

  • Additional ingredients for serving
  • 1 cup Yogurt or any preferred sauce

  • Flatbread or roll or Indian Chapati from frozen aisle of Indian grocery

  • Salad greens for crunch

  • pickled onions


  • Preparation
  • Rinse the Squash. Use a sharp knife to cut the ends off.
  • Peel the squash and cut it lengthwise.
  • De-seed the core using a spoon edge.
  • Dice into smaller pieces, Keep this aside.
  • Thaw the raw coconut if frozen ahead of time.
  • Squeeze two limes and keep the juice aside. Or 1/4 cup of fresh tamarind juice
  • To extract tamarind juice from fresh tamarind, just soak the tamarind in warm water for few mts and squeeze to extract the juice. Filter if required.
  • Use a wok or heavy bottom pan.
  • Cooking Directions
  • In a wok or large heavy bottom pan , add 2-4 tbsp of oil and heat on medium high.
  • When the oil is slightly hot, add mustard seeds, Poblano peppers or jalapeno, curry leaves. This will splutter so stay at distance. Reduce the heat to medium.
  • Add the spice blend, red chili powder.
  • Immediately add the butternut squash and mix well.
  • Add the tamarind juice, thawed raw coconut, 1 cup water, salt to taste and close the lid.
  • Keep the heat on medium and let it cook for 7-8 mts. on medium heat.
  • Add lime juice after turning off the stove. Mix well. Add more salt if necessary.
  • Garnish with herbs.
  • How to serve?
  • Take a flatbread or roll to make vegan wrap or sandwich.
  • Add salad green, pickled onions, greek yogurt or your choice of sauce and enjoy.


  • You can shop the veggies from any farmer’s market, Co-ops around you or grocery stores.
  • Few Ingredients such as raw frozen coconut, spices, curry leaves can be purchased from any Indian grocery nearby. If you cannot find this then the taste and flavor may vary.
  • You can also buy the tamarind paste from Indian store but it’s so dark that it changes the color of the dish. So add accordingly. Fresher the tamarind, the lighter brown color it is.
  • Indian Chapati can be found in Frozen section of Indian grocery store . You can get any kind from plain to stuffed to Naan.
  • For maximum flavor use Smita’s Cookery spice blends as it contains a well balanced mix of spices and you don’t need anything else except salt. In case you don’t have this blend then you can use any garam masala, Chole masala but you may also need to add ginger garlic paste, red chili powder.
  • Check farm shops and other locations of Smita’sCookery Spices near you here.
  • Anything except Curry powder is recommended. Using spices other than Smita’s Cookery blend would require more qty than listed above.

I am Smita Chutke , and welcome to my blog. Cooking for me is an art. Once you know the techniques then you have freedom to experiment and create something new.

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