Monday, October 15, 2018

Slow Cooker Curry with Buttercup Squash, Chicken, and Green Tomatoes

Slow Cooker Curry with Buttercup Squash, Chicken, and Green Tomatoes

This slow cooker green tomato curry is studded with cubes of buttercup squash and chunks of marinated chicken. A flavorful and vegetable-filled warming meal.

photo of a plate of green tomato curry with butternut squash and chicken, served over rice

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Buttercup squash are kind of homely looking, aren't they? Compared to the smooth unblemished skin of a butternut, they end up looking like the barnacle-covered whales of the winter squash family. No matter what a buttercup squash looks like on the outside, on the inside it's a thing of beauty.

A buttercup squash has rich orange flesh that can be peeled and cubed or roasted whole and pureed. Use it like you would most of the winter squash family (exception:  spaghetti squash). This recipe combines a buttercup squash with green tomatoes and chicken in a slow cooker curry.

This slow cooker green tomato curry is studded with cubes of buttercup squash and chunks of marinated chicken. A flavorful and vegetable-filled warming recipe.

Let's start off with a bit of behind the scenes--I used (with my left hand) a piece of black foam core board to decrease the light coming in from the window to take the photo in the upper left corner of the collage below. My first attempt, with just the white foam core reflector (yes, held up by my right foot) is in the lower left corner. You can see how bright it is--blown out and missing detail on the buttercup squash. You can also see how athletic it is to be a food blogger.

collage photo showing behind the scenes, how to photograph buttercup squash on a sunny day

When I was digging around Google to determine the best time to post my Green Tomato Bacon Jam recipe, I learned that September is the busiest month folks search for "green tomato recipes". Since I'm racking and stacking the green tomato recipes (see my Clickable Collage of Green Tomato Recipes below) I thought a curry would be a great addition to my 'everything but a fried green tomato' group of recipes.

Rebecca's Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala recipe is my Mother Recipe for a whole host of curries that my family enjoys.  It started when I first tried it on the road, visiting my in-laws.  That version, my Chicken and Chana Chick Pea Tikka Masala recipe, uses less chicken and adds chick peas for protein.  I've made Beef Tikka Masala with Summer Squash and again with green tomatoes. Each variation I make results in a flavorful meal that my whole family enjoys. If you're not into chicken, this vegan green tomato stew looks pretty tasty and this Shrimp, Pineapple, and Butternut Squash Curry looks divine.

Notes: This recipe starts the night before with marinating the chicken. If you cannot find a buttercup squash, please feel free to substitute a butternut squash. Just peel, scrape out the seeds, and chop into cubes. Serve it alongside basmati rice and some warm naan (I get mini ones from Costco and heat them in the toaster). This curry is enhanced with a dollop of my Apple Fig Chutney.

image of ingredients to make Slow Cooker Green Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and Chicken

a plate of green tomato curry with buttercup squash and chicken, served over rice alongside apple fig chutney

More behind the scenes:

behind the scenes--how to take a photo of a plate of curry on a dark winter evening with artificial lights

It was wintertime when I first made this curry. I had my lights set up with my minions keeping everything on my skinny table and holding the diffuser. First I used my trusty little point and shoot camera, the type of camera that I said was less important than the person pushing the button

Then, since I had it, I grabbed my spouse's new camera and took the same photo.  I have to say that, in the hands of someone who has taken the time to learn a teeny tiny bit, a better camera can give you better results. See for yourself--old, then new:

photo of a plate of green tomato curry taken with a point and shoot camera
picture of a plate of green tomato curry taken with a DSLR camera

Ok, now for the collage (click on the link to go to each recipe):

Green Tomato Goat Cheese PizzaGreen Tomato Bacon JamGreen Tomato Garlic ChiliGreen Tomato, Pork and White Bean ChiliGreen Tomato Bacon Jam BurgersGreen Tomato Curry with Buttercup Squash and ChickenImage Map
For more recipes using buttercup or butternut squash, please see my Buttercup/Butternut Squash Recipes Page. For more recipes using green tomatoes, please see my Green Tomato Recipes page. These pages are part of the Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me eating from the farm share, the farmer's market, the garden, the neighbor's garden, and great deals on ugly produce at the grocery store.

I'm sharing more recipes on my Pinterest boards, follow me there. If you like a good peek behind the scenes like I do, follow me on Instagram. Need a good read? I'm sharing articles of interest on my Facebook page, follow me there. Want to know How to Use This Blog?


  1. Oh my, this looks great, such a nice flavor combination.

    1. Jamie,
      It's hard to make a curry look good, so thanks!

  2. I love the idea of a green tomato curry. Perhaps even enough to give up the notion of them fried.

    Thanks for all the behind the scenes stuff. It certainly is helpful for me.

    1. Meghan,
      Behind the scenes works for me too-I'm such a visual learner.

  3. Kirsten your photos are looking downright scrumptious!! I love the behind the scenes photos. I'm thinking I am going to break down and go buy a lightbox this Fall. I have pretty good light now that I have a balcony again but I'm a wee bit worried for when the rainy season starts and it's dark for 6 months. haha... I'd love to hear more about the class you took!

    Also, I ADORE the look of buttercup squash! I think they're ugly little fuggles. But totally cute and real. Like Pugs. Or feet. And now I'd like you to please dish me up a bowl o fthis green tomato curry business. Thank you.

    1. Kristy,
      Pugs. Snort. In April 2013 I did the free 30 Days to Better Food Photography class at Learn Food which gave me a brief assignment each day and at the end I'd learned a ton. Neel repeated the course in the fall, reminding me again of some of the aspects I'd overlooked the first go 'round.
      I have a light box, but it could double as a camping tent because it's so big it fills up the table!