Butternut Squash and Drumsticks in Coconut gravy

Coconut based gravies are a regular part of our lunch menu when it’s a kerala style oonu. We enjoy other cuisines and try recipes from other cuisines at home. But when the lunch is a naadan oonu with moru curry and coconut based side dishes, it is full on nostalgia. Even when we are away from our homeland, food is something which always takes our memories back to our roots. My mother used to prepare a variety of thenga aracha curries with different combination of veggies like cucumber, pumpkin, tomatoes and so on…And all these curries makes their turn in our lunch menu very often.

When we moved to United States, I could find a wide variety of squash (pumpkin is a type of squash) available in the market. Butternut squash is one among them. A short search on Google told me that it has more Vitamin A than pumpkin and is a good source of proteins, minerals and other health benefiting vitamins. This is a very good substitute for pumpkin and is very easy to peel off the skin as compared to the hard skin of pumpkin.

Recently I watched a differrent preparation of pumpkin and drum sticks curry by Chef Pillai. Then I decided to give it a try with butternut squash, drumsticks and tomatoes. It turned out awesome and this has become a part of my list of thenga aracha curries now. Butternut Squash and drumsticks in coconut gravy is a must try recipe that pairs well with rice.


  • To boil:
    1. Butternut Squash (seeded, peeled and cubed)    300-350 gm
    2. Drumsticks slit in half( around 2.5 inch pieces) 6
    3. Green Chilli    5
    4. Turmeric Powder ¼ tsp 
    5. Salt to taste
  • Tomato (read tip no :2)
  • Coconut paste:
    1. Grated coconut  1.5 cup
    2. Garlic  1
    3. Cumin seeds     3/4 tsp
    4. Turmeric powder    ½ tsp
  • Tempering:
    1. Coconut oil 1 tbsp
    2. Shallots/Pearl onions 3
    3. Mustard seeds 3/4 tsp
    4. Dried red chilli 2
    5. Curry leaves


  1. In a clay pot or sauce pan, cook butternut squash, drumsticks, green chilli, ¼ tsp turmeric powder and salt with 1.5 cup water. Boil it covered.
  1. Grind together grated coconut, garlic, cumin seeds and turmeric powder with ½ to ¾ cup of water to a fine paste.
  1. Once the veggies are almost cooked, add cubed tomato and cook covered for 1 minute.
  1. Add the coconut paste with ¼ cup water and bring it to a slight boil. Switch off the flame. Do not let it boil. Stir the curry so that gravy does not split/curdle. Add salt if needed.
  1. Heat coconut oil in a small pan and splutter mustard seeds. Fry sliced shallots, dried red chilli and curry leaves. Add this tempering to the curry. Let the curry sit covered for 10 mins.
  1. Serve it with hot rice and enjoy.


1.You can use pumpkin or any other squash variety instead of butternut squash to prepare this gravy.

2.Tomato is added only after the other veggies are almost cooked to prevent it from getting over cooked. This way you get bites of tomato cubes in the finished curry. If U don’t prefer that, cook it along with other veggies instead of adding it later.

3.This is a curry with thick gravy and it tastes delicious when its consistency is thick.