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This is the first in a series of recipes taken from chef and author Marie Mitchell’s debut cookbook, Kin: Caribbean Recipes for the Modern Kitchen. Read Something Curated’s profile of Mitchell here.

Daughter Marcie and husband Danny in the book. Michaël Protin.

In my imagination, I have a home with land, where I head outside daily to pick from a bounty of fruits and vegetables. In life, I seek out nature wherever I can – including in the plant pots on my windowsill in East London. Picking my ripe tomatoes feeds my yearning for a life rooted in the earth. Whether you grow your own or not, enjoy this curry when tomatoes are at their peak – it’s sweeter for it. Out of season, swap fresh for canned plum tomatoes and give the curry a little longer on the hob. 

For four 
500g seasonal squash flesh, cut into 2cm chunks 
3 tbsp olive oil 
2 garlic cloves 
10g ginger root 
5g turmeric root (or use ½ tsp dried turmeric) 
1/4 Scotch bonnet, deseeded (or use a whole one, pierced) 
1 onion, chopped 
1 celery stick, chopped 
2 carrots, peeled and diced 
200g cherry or salad tomatoes, pierced a few times with a sharp knife 
1½ tbsp (Jamaican) curry powder
1 tsp ground coriander 
½ tsp ground cumin
400ml full-fat coconut milk 
Fine sea salt and ground black pepper 
1 lime, juiced (optional), to serve 

Ginger prep. © Christian Cassiel.

Preheat your oven to 200°C/180°C fan/Gas 6. 

Tip your squash into a roasting tin with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Add a good few pinches of salt and pepper to season, and toss together. Roast the squash for 25–30 minutes, until soft but not mushy or crispy – you’re just aiming to deepen the flavour. Set aside. 

Meanwhile, mince your garlic and ginger, and fresh turmeric (but not the dried) and quarter Scotch bonnet (but not the whole), if using, in a mini-food processor, or grind them in a mortar with the pestle. Set aside. 

Heat another tablespoon of the oil in a medium, wide pan on a medium heat. When hot, add the onion and celery and sweat for about 5–7 minutes, until softened. Add the carrots and cook for 1–2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook for 5–7 minutes, until they start to collapse. Then, add the last tablespoon of olive oil, along with the curry powder, coriander and cumin (and dried turmeric, if using) and the garlic, ginger, turmeric and Scotch bonnet mixture. Mix well and cook for up to 1 minute, until your spices start to release their aromas. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Pour in the coconut milk and, if you haven’t used the quarter chilli, add the whole, pierced Scotch bonnet. Stir, bring the liquid up to a gentle rolling boil, and cook until your spices are fully incorporated into the sauce and it’s as thick as you’d like it – I aim for it to reduce by almost half. Taste – if you haven’t cooked off your spices for long enough, they can feel a little grainy on your tongue, in which case cook for a little longer. Fold in your squash and leave it to soak up all the flavours in the pan for a few minutes. Season with a little lime juice to serve, if you like.

Kin: Caribbean Recipes for the Modern Kitchen is out now and can be purchased here. Header image: the tomato curry, photographed by © Christian Cassiel.

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