By David Willis

A curry doesn’t just make you feel good – it can also be good for you. The health benefits of Indian spices have been demonstrated by science.

Turmeric’s great for aiding digestion as well as treating heartburn, stomach pain, diarrhoea, trapped wind, bloating and loss of appetite. Cardamom’s also good for all the same conditions.

Cloves are another boon to digestion, while they also fight germs and are natural painkillers. And ginger has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, as well as helping with nausea. 

So that’s got to do you good.

Of course, some Indian cookery starts with ghee – but we’ve substituted vegetable oil as a healthier option in our Butternut Squash Korma recipe …



Serves 4


800 grams butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into bite-sized chunks

2 medium onions, diced

75 grams cashews

3 cloves of garlic

2 green chillies, finely chopped

1.5 tbsp grated fresh ginger

1 tbsp ground cumin

1 tbsp tamarind paste

3 tsp ground coriander

1.5 tsp garam masala

1 tsp tumeric 

2 cardamom pods, bruised

2 cloves

1 cinnamon stick

1 tin coconut milk (low-fat available)

1 tin chopped tomatoes

150ml plain yogurt (low-fat available)

3 tbsp vegetable oil



To garnish: Fresh coriander and lime wedges




Preheat oven to 220C.

Place the squash in an oven dish and toss in 1tbsp of the oil. Season and sprinkle with an extra tbsp of garam masala and toss again. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the flesh is starting to brown at the corners.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a large pan. Add the onion, chilli, and nuts. Cook, stirring regularly, until the onions begin to brown. Remove the pan from the heat and empty its contents into a blender, along with half the coconut milk. Blitz until smooth then set the paste aside.

Return the pan to the heat and warm the last of the oil. Add the garlic, chilli, cumin, coriander, garam masala, turmeric, cardamom and cinnamon and gently fry, stirring constantly, until the mixture becomes fragrant.

Add the chilli and onion paste, the tomatoes, and the rest of the coconut paste. Season, and bring to the boil. Add the roasted squash and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring regularly and making sure the veg holds its shape while the sauce thickens. Remember to taste and season.

Stir through the tamarind paste and plain yogurt and serve your korma with rice, and the Indian bread of your choice.


We know a lot about health. To speak to the health marketing experts, call us on 0800 612 9890.