Butternut Squash Chana Masala (Trust me, I'm Indian!)
Butternut Squash Chana Masala

This fall inspired butternut squash chana masala is made in one pot that’s ready to eat within 30 minutes. Cozy, healthy, & delicious.

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Hearty, wholesome, and easy, butternut squash chana masala. Just like my authentic chana masala recipe, this fall-inspired chana masala is a one-pot recipe that’s ready to eat within 30 minutes! Make this on weeknights when you’re craving something cozy, but healthy and quick. This Indian curry is packed with butternut squash, protein-packed chickpeas and all the classic Indian spices. Serve with this delicious butternut squash chickpea curry with warm brown rice, and naan to soak up all the masala. The perfect cold-weather weeknight dinner.

This butternut squash chana masala curry recipe is…

  • naturally vegan and gluten-free!
  • packed with aromatic Indian flavors, and is comfort food at its finest.
  • a great way to get in some veggies.
  • made with basic ingredients that you probably already have at home!

Ingredients for butternut squash chana masala

  • Oil: I always use sunflower oil when cooking curry but coconut oil, vegetable oil, avocado oil or even olive oil will work!
  • Butternut Squash: Duh! You’ll need around 4-5 cups of cubed fresh butternut squash.
  • Chickpeas: Two tins of chickpeas. Don’t throw away that aqaufaba, use it for my seriously fudgy brownies recipe! Give the chickpeas a quick rinse before using too. If you want, you can cook the chickpeas from scratch but to save time I love using tinned chickpeas!
  • Onion: Just the one, diced. I prefer finely chopped onions over sliced onions in this curry.
  • Garlic & ginger: Fresh, nub of ginger and garlic cloves. I love grating fresh garlic and ginger as it’s kind of like making my own ginger and garlic paste. Plus, grating means the curry will be packed with way more flavour.
  • Spices: Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, coriander-cumin powder (I used a blend of both mixed, but you can use half the amount of ground coriander powder and ground cumin powder), ground turmeric powder, chili powder, ground cinnamon powder, salt and sugar. For the chili powder, I prefer to use Kashmiri chili powder as it gifts this curry with a more vibrant colour without it being too spicy. Don’t have kashmiri chili? Use equal amounts of cayenne pepper powder. Red chili powder will work perfectly too in this recipe but you may want to use a little less.
  • Herbs: Curry leaves and coriander leaves. For the curry leaves, use fresh or dried. And if you don’t have those, you can use bay leaves instead! The coriander leaves can be fresh or frozen!
  • Tomatoes: You’ll need a little tomato puree (aka tomato paste), along with tinned chopped tomatoes. You can use tinned plum tomatoes too, just pulse them with an immersion blender to break them down a little.
  • Lemon: A squeeze or two of lemon juice to balance all the flavors. Lime juice would work too!

Infusing the butternut squash with Indian spices…

In a large pan, add the oil and allow it to heat up over medium heat. Add in the mustard seeds, and pretty quickly they’ll start popping. Mix in the cumin seeds, and cook until fragrant. Add the diced onions and curry leaves. Cook for around 2-3 minutes or until the onions start to become a little golden. Cooking dried spices and curry leaves with oil allows the oil becomes infused with flavour, which results in a tastier curry.

Add the grated ginger and garlic, and cook for under a minute. Add in the cubed butternut squash, and mix until it’s coated in the whole spices. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes, mixing often to prevent burning.

Add the chopped tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, coriander-cumin powder, kashmiri chili powder, ground turmeric, ground cinnamon, and salt. Give everything a good mix together until the cubed squash is covered in all the spices. Cover the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes, mixing often. Mix in the chickpeas, cover the pan with the lid and cook for 5 minutes.

Final touches…

Pour in the water and bring the curry to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil for 2-5 minutes extra over medium-high heat. At this point, I like to mash a few of the butternut squash cubes, this gifts the curry with a lovely, luxurious, creamy texture. YUM. I was craving a curry with less curry sauce, but if you want something that’s got more gravy, add in more water.

Finally, mix in the brown sugar, coriander leaves, and lemon juice- and just like that, you have a homemade, cozy, fall-inspired curry with hearty butternut squash. The flavor from the warming spices makes this curry feel like a big, comforting hug. You need to try this recipe asap!

If you don’t manage to finish this curry in one day, don’t worry! Simply place it in an airtight container and keep refrigerated for 3-4 days. This curry will actually taste even better the next day as all the flavor of the warming spices becomes enhanced the longer they rest in the fridge!

Once you try this vegan butternut squash chana masala recipe, please leave a star rating and review below! I try my best to respond to you all. Oh, and don’t forget to tag me on Instagram – I can’t wait to see your images!!

Serve this butternut squash curry with…

  • Rice: Brown rice, basmati rice or even jeera rice.
  • Flatbread: Naan, roti, or even paratha.
  • Other: Sliced onions, vegan yoghurt, and even some Indian pickle.

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Butternut Squash Chana Masala (Vegan)

This fall inspired butternut squash chana masala is made in one pot that's ready to eat within 30 minutes. Cozy, healthy, & delicious.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 people 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Indian
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  • 24 tbsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 onion (diced)
  • 1112 curry leaves
  • 57 garlic cloves (grated)
  • 2 tsp grated ginger
  • 4 cups cubed butternut squash
  • 1 tbsp coriander cumin powder (or half of each)
  • 23 tsp kashmiri chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt (to taste)
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3/4 cup tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 2 x 400g tinned chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup water (plus more if needed)
  • 1 1/2 tsp brown sugar
  • 12 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 35 tbsp coriander leaves


  1. Heat oil in a large pan, add in mustard seeds and cook until they start to pop. Add in cumin seeds and cook until golden/fragrant, Then add in onions, and curry leaves, and cook until onions become slightly golden. Mix in garlic and ginger and cook for a few seconds. Then add in the cubed butternut squash. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Stirring often.
  2. Add kashmiri chili powder, coriander-cumin powder, turmeric powder, cinnamon powder, salt, tomato puree and tinned tomatoes. Give everything a good mix. Cover and cook for 10 more minutes. Stirring often. Add the chickpeas, cover and cook for 5 minutes. Pour in the water, bring to a boil and cook for 2-5 minutes. If you want more gravy, add some more water! Mash a few of the butternut squash cubes to make the gravy of this curry thicker. Mix in the lemon juice, sugar, and coriander. Enjoy!