Butternut Squash Stew

Winter is officially here to stay. For the first time in a while, I thought I saw the sun trying to peek out only to be disappointed by a large cloud and bitter cold breeze. I couldn’t help but thinking global warming is soo real..the cold season is colder than usual and of course the summer last time was hotter than ever. The colder it gets the more I think about heart warming food like hot stews, soups, broths and maybe that cheeky glass (bottle) of wine.
Butternut squash is the perfect stewing vegetable. It adds depth, texture and a sweet flavour to any dish plus it’s available all year round, so come rain or “kenyan snow” you’ll be able to get some.

For this stew you will need


1 Butternut Squash
4  Carrots
1 Can Black Beans ( I used pre-boiled black butter beans)
1 White Onion
1 Tsp Ginger & Garlic Paste
1 Tsp Coriander powder
1/2 Tsp Cumin powder
1 Tsp Paprika
1/2 Tsp Chilli Powder
Fresh Herbs – Rosemary & Dhania
Salt and pepper to season


Prep and chop the carrots, butternut and onion. Heat oil in a large pan on a med/high heat then add in the carrots. Cook the carrots for 3-5mins or until lightly charred around the edges. The charring process releases the natural sugars from the vegetables which gives the stew a light smokey aroma adding to the depth in taste.  Add the butternut squash and continue to cook for a further 1 min covered with a lid. Add in the white onion, paprika, cumin, and chilli powder and toss until everything is combined cook for another 2 mins covered before adding water.

At this point your house should smell wonderful and if anyone’s around, they’re bound to get drawn in by the beautiful aroma.

P.s If you like a thicker stew add 1 tbsp of flour right after the spices and toss.

Next add enough cold water to cover the vegetables and let it simmer for 5 mins. In the meantime chop some fresh dahnia but leave the rosemary on the stem. Finally add in the beans, herbs, salt and black pepper and simmer gently for a further 10 mins on low/med heat stirring occasionally.

Tip: Use a non stick pan or heavy pot. Pick out the rosemary once the stew is ready.

Serve the stew with some fresh fluffy rice, bread or chapatti. If you’re a chilli lightweight have some natural yoghurt on the side to cool things down. Though with this kind of weather I doubt you’ll want to cool things down.


Sylvia Jemutai
Sylvia Jemutai

Sylvia Jemutai is a food and lifestyle photographer, writer, food stylist, and designer based in Nairobi. Exploring life through delicious food and photography one plate at a time. With a fondness for delicious home cooked meals, mammoth salads and occasional dessert for breakfast.