I’m constantly on a quest for new meals to cook over a campfire. But sometimes, some of the most successful recipes are adaptations of meals that I’m used to making at home. So when I first tried making my butternut squash curry recipe over a campfire I was pleasantly surprised at how well it worked out. It turns out that making campfire curry is an excellent choice when cooking for large groups over a fire, as well as for filling you right up! Plus, like many vegetarian and vegan camping recipes, the ingredients all last a while, so campfire curry is a really good option for cooking towards the end of a camping trip.
Additionally, this meal ticks quite a few boxes for me in terms of my preferred way of eating. This butternut squash campfire curry recipe is vegan, diary-free, low-FODMAP and grain-free. And yet it’s also really delicious! Gut-friendly, ethical and healthy food really can be great, even when camping.
- A low FODMAP campfire curry
- Cooking over a campfire
- Butternut Squash Campfire Curry Recipe
- What to serve with your campfire curry
A low FODMAP campfire curry
Those familiar with cooking curry at home may notice the lack of a few key ingredients in my campfire curry recipe below. Yep, there’s no onion! Most curry recipes have a rich base of slowly cooked onion in butter. However, I loosely follow a low-FODMAP diet which means that onions and garlic are out of the question for me. They almost instantly make me feel sick and give me a stomach ache. Not eating onions and garlic has taken some getting used to, especially because I really love them both so much! But I’ve learned that you can still create delicious meals without them, even if they seem like an integral part of the recipe.
Though the flavours of no-onion curries may not be as curry-like as you might be used to, it’s still possible to make really yummy tasting curries. This campfire curry is full-flavoured, creamy and hearty, and it’s also rather healthy! Plus, if it means you can enjoy curry when camping, without having to endure painful belly gripes after your meal, then it’s well worth the small sacrifice of depth of flavour.
Add onion, if you like
For those of you who don’t react badly to eating onions and garlic this recipe can be easily adapted. Simply sauté a diced yellow onion at the same time as you sauté the ginger, chilli, carrot and celery. The added onion will add an extra depth to the flavours that will make your campfire curry taste a little more authentic.
Cooking over a campfire
Before you get going, you’ll need to have a mature fire burning. This means that you’ll be cooking over hot embers and small flames that are consistent and reliable, rather than larger lapping flames that are likely to burn down or get so big that they become unmanageable for cooking over.
Once you’ve got consistent heat output from your fire, you’re ready to get cooking! There are a couple of ways to cook this curry recipe over a campfire. The method you choose depends largely on what sort of campfire cooking equipment you have available to you. Here are some options:
01Cook campfire curry on a grill
This is probably the method that most campers are likely to use. It’s really simple to set up and it’s easy to tend to the curry as you cook it.
Use a large, durable cooking pot with a fireproof handle and place the pot on top of a grill with a mature fire below it. To control the temperature in the pot, you may need to move the pot to cooler areas on the grill. Alternatively you can stoke up or spread out the fire below.
02Cook campfire curry in a Dutch oven
Cooking In Dutch ovens can be a little complicated, especially when it comes to creating meals that you might ordinarily cook in an oven. However, because this recipe is so simple, the use of a Dutch oven works really well and is as simple as cooking over a grill.
Place the Dutch oven directly onto your campfire or over hot embers that you have pulled away from the fire. Cook the campfire curry in the same way that you would if you were cooking on a grill (above). Adjust the temperature by moving the Dutch oven closer to or further away from the heart of the fire, or by adjusting the coals and embers beneath the oven.
03Cook campfire curry using a tripod
Another easy way to make campfire curry is to suspend your pot over the fire using a tripod. If you don’t have a tripod then you can easily make a DIY campfire tripod using two Y-sticks that support a cross stick on which you suspend your pot. This method, whether your tripod is homemade or not, relies on you having a cooking pot with a bail handle on it so that the pot can be suspended.
Once you’ve got a good fire going, adjust the height of the tripod chain so that the pot sits just above the heat. Although it’s a bit more tricky to control the temperature in your pot using this method you can still stoke up or spread out the fire to alter the intensity of the fire should you need.
Butternut Squash Campfire Curry Recipe
This is a FODMAP-friendly, dairy-free, no-grains, vegan recipe that is as hearty and healthy as it is yummy.
- Thumb of ginger, finely diced
- 1/4 red chilli, finely diced
- 1 carrot, cubed
- 1 celery stick, sliced
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp coriander
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1 tbs tomato puree
- 1 small butternut squash – diced into 1cm cubes
- 1/2 can of coconut milk
- 1 can of tomatoes
- 1 handful of greens (spinach or chard is great)
- Heat a tablespoon of oil in the pan (I use coconut oil).
- Add the ginger, chilli, celery and carrot to the oil, stir and sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the spices and tomato paste and stir in with a splash of water to form a paste.
- Stir in the butternut squash so that it is coated in the paste.
- Add ½ cup of water along with the coconut milk and tomatoes.
- Stir and leave to simmer for 30 minutes or so, or until the squash has softened.
- Finally, stir in the greens and heat for a couple of minutes, or until they have wilted into the curry.
What to serve with your campfire curry
This recipe has a good balance of carbohydrates from the butternut squash and fat from the coconut milk so you may not need to serve it with another carb. However, if you’re feeling extra hungry, or want the meal to go further if serving up to a group, then here are a few options:
- Brown rice is an excellent FODMAP-friendly option that can be cooked in a pot on a grill or on a camping stove.
- Buckwheat groats are a good option for those following a no-grain diet (though buckwheat is classed as a pseudo-grain which may not be great for the most intolerant) It is also FODMAP-friendly. Like rice, this can be cooked in a pot on a grill or on a camping stove.
- Simple pita breads can be made by mixing flour, water and seasoning, and rolling into flat breads. Cook them by frying in a pan over the fire or wrapping around a stick and holding over the fire. Use buckwheat flour to make your pita breads low FODMAP and no-grain.
- Crusty brown bread to mop up this juicy curry is the easiest option. It’s ideal for those who don’t mind a little grain here and there. Plus, it’s just yummy!
Finally, this recipe lacks some protein. So to up its protein content sprinkle a handful of chopped almonds – which are low FODMAP and no-grain – or peanuts over the top.