Chicken Butternut Squash Samla Curry

Friday 21 August 2020

 Chicken Butternut Squash Samla Curry 

One thing which we really enjoy eating in our home are curries.  Before I moved over to the UK, I had no idea that there was any more than just one kind of curry.  I had been introduced to curry by a British friend in Alberta back in the early 1980's.

It was love at first bite, but it was a rather limited introduction I have to say, especially when compared to what I have come to since learn about curries and such after moving here!  And not all of them come from India! There are many, many varieties to enjoy from many Asian nations. 

This Chicken/Butternut Squash Samla Curry recipe I am sharing today comes from Vietnam! I was recently send a box of spices and some recipes to try from the Embracability Charity.

In my lifetime,  I have been really lucky. Although I did not grow up in a wealthy home, I have never known a time of true hunger or need. Never. This has been one of my life's greatest blessings.

Unfortuntately that is not so in much of the world.  I have read statistically if you go to bed tonight safe, warm, fed and adequately clothes, then you are amongst the top 2% wealthiest people in the world, which kind of helps to put things into perspective.


Cambodia has one of the highest disability rates in the developing world.  Disability and poverty are inextricably linked. Statistically speaking, families with even one disabled family member are highly likely to be more disadvantaged and poorer than their non-disabled peers. 

In a country where there is limited access to health care and relatively few disabiliy rehabilitation centres, this puts them at an great disadvantage. 


The charity EmbraceAbility is a not for profit charitable organisation who provide therapy, education and support to children with disabilities and their families in Cambodia.  

A short distance from the capital city of Cambodia, Koh Dach, or Silk Island, is its own world of farmers and floodplains; silk weavers and shortfall. 

It is here that EmbraceAbiliy has made its home, providing services aimed at empowering children with disabilities and their families to lift themselves from poverty; promoting their dignity and independence so that they may participate fully in their communities. 

EmbraceAbility will be opening a daycare centre on Koh Dach Island, the first of its kind, to provide a safe space for children to receive rehabilitation and education tailored to their needs and abilities.  Malnutrition remains critical in Cambodia, with stunting affecting 332% of children under the age of 5, among the highest rates in the region.  

Your donation can help play a vital part of tackling food insecutiry by providing two nutritious hot meals a day alongside a healthy snack at the daycare centre.  

If you would like to find out where and how you can make a difference to these children in need check out the EmbraceAbility website to learn more.  Just a small amount can make a huge difference to these children.  

Silk Island Spice Box 

For a small donation you can receive a box of spices and recipes to use them in.  You can click here to buy one for yourself. The Spices from Silk Island Spice Box contains four delicious and authentic Cambodian recipes with the spices delivered straight to your door. 

All proceeds will go towards EmbraceAbility, with £5 from every box providing nutritious meals for children at their Community Daycare and Rehabilitation Centre, the first of its kind, opening soon. Cook for a cause with EmbraceAbility!

This curry was meant to be either a vegetarian Butternut Squash curry or a Chicken curry. I decided to use some of both.  

This is a Vietnamese/Thai style of curry in that it used lemon grass and curry leaves as a flavouring along with fish sauce. Most curries from that area of the world will contain these.

Indian curries are completely different in many ways. Some of the same spices will be used of course, but there is a distinct difference.

 Both are delicious in their own unique ways, and we do love them all in our home. Just the smell of one cooking makes me feel hungry.

This curry  is rich, colourful and very fragrant . . . and the coconut rice is the perfect accompaniment. 

You could of course do a simple steamed rice is coconut is not your bag, but if you like coconut, I highly recommend making it as per the recipe.

Just looking at these photographs has me craving it all over again! I will have to make sure that I have everything in to make it again for us really soon!

Chicken Butternut Squash Samla Curry

Chicken Butternut Squash Samla Curry
Yield: 2
Author: Marie Rayner
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 30 M
A curry with a really delicious combination of spicy and creamy. You can make with either chicken or butternut squash, or both. Sized just for two.


  • 1 red pepper, trimmed and cut into strips
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 fresh lemongrass stem
  • 3 dried lime leaves
  • 1 tsp dried chili
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 large chicken breast fillet/medium sized butternut squash cut into squares
  • 2 TBS  roasted peanuts (25g)
  • 1/2 cup  fine green beans (80g)
  • 1/2 cup Basmati rice (125g)
  • 2 1/2 tsp fish sauce/vegetarian fish sauce (15ml)
  • 2 ounces coconut cream (50g)
  • spring of fresh coriander


  1. Remove the outer layer of lemongrass and chop the soft inner stem into fine pieces.
  2. Add the basmati rice, 1 cup (250ml) cold water, the outer lemongrass layers and a pinch of salt to a saucepan wih a lid and bring to the boil over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to very low and cook, covered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the water is absorbed. Once cooked, remove from the heat and keep covered until serving.
  3. Dissolve the coconut cream in 1 cup (250ml) boiling water and add the lime leaves, fish sauce and sugar. This is your coconut stock.
  4. Heat a large pan with a drizzle of oil over medium high heat. Add the chicken/butternut squash and turmeric and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.
  5. Once fragrant add the red pepper, garlic, ginger and lemongrass and cook for a further 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Cut the green beans in half.
  7. Add the coconut stock, green beans and a pinch of salt  to the pan and cook for 10 minutes, or until the sauce has thickened to a curry-like consistency.
  8. Roughly chop the peanuts, or bash in a bag with a rolling pin.
  9. Serve the curry hot, with the lemongrass rice and garnish with chopped/bashed peanuts and fresh coriander.
Did you make this recipe?
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Created using The Recipes Generator

I do hope that you will want to try some really tasty recipes and in the process help to support this very worthy cause!!  

What you will get: 

4 x Traditional Cambodian recipe cards
  • 3 x Refillable jars containing: 
  • Turmeric (40g) 
  • Ground Ginger (40g) 
  • Dried chilli (40g) 
  • Fresh Lemongrass (40g)
Recipes include: (Each recipe serves 2 people)
  • Cambodian Chicken/Butternut Squash Curry 
  • Coconut Cream Bananas and Tapioca Coconut 
  • Shrimp/Tofu Soup Lemongrass 
  • Chicken/Tofu Skewers

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  1. We ate this tonight as butternuts are cheap and plentiful at the moment. I didn't use chicken, but instead some tofu and it was a lovely, light and fresh curry which we really enjoyed. The rice with the lemongrass was beautiful - the whole thing was quite different to the usual curries I make which made a nice change. I will be making it again for sure.

    1. Happy it was enjoyed Marie. I thought it was quite tasty! xoxo


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