Instant Pot Butternut Squash Bharta

Butternut Squash Bharta made in the Instant Pot!

This spiced butternut squash mash is wonderfully spiced with Indian spices and makes a great side!

Goes well with any bread or even rice.

If you love all the Instant Pot vegetarian/vegan recipes that I share on the blog, please join me on this Facebook Group – Instant Pot Vegetarian Recipes. The group would feature vegetarian instant pot recipes from all around the web!

mashed butternut squash in a bowl with some flatbreads placed in the background

I see all kinds of squash at the grocery stores these days. Honestly, before I moved to US, I didn’t even knew there were so many variety of squash!

While I like them all, my favorite has to be the butternut squash.

It’s sweet, delicious and I love eating it in every form. Whether it’s in soups, salads or this bharta (mash).

If you are looking to make a different Thanksgiving dish this year, then give this Indian inspired mashed butternut squash a try.

It is wonderfully flavored with Indian spices and goes well with any bread or rice/quinoa!

This Butternut Squash Bharta

✓ is made in the Instant Pot

✓ is so flavorful

✓ easy to make in one-pot

✓ is vegan and gluten-free

✓ would make a nice side for the holidays

When I hear the word bharta, I usually associate it with baingan bharta, after all that’s the most popular form of bharta back home.

In eastern UP, we also make aloo bharta which is similar to mashed potatoes but with spices and chilies.

However, this time around I thought of making bharta with butternut squash and it actually turned out very good.

I was pleasantly surprised. It was super easy to make too in the pressure cooker.

The first time around I tested this recipe, I added 1 cup of water and when I opened the pot, there was wayyy too much water there.

Squash and tomatoes release a lot of water when pressure cooked. I ended up using 1/2 cup for this recipe but honestly I think 1/4 cup would work too.

In the end, you do want the bharta to dry out a little. Not completely dry like a stir-fry but shouldn’t have a gravy either.

This butternut squash bharta is flavored with cumin seeds, mustard seeds, coriander powder, garam masala, smoked paprika and red chili powder.

I also use lot of fresh ginger, garlic which gives the bharta a nice flavor.

butternut squash bharta served with flatbread in a plate with a green chili placed on the side

Serving suggestions: I enjoyed this bharta with roti and paratha. Sarvesh ate it as a side with rice and dal.

It would go with anything honestly!

If you want to make this bharta and don’t have an Instant Pot, no worries! You can easily make this by roasting the squash in the oven.

Please find the instructions for the oven in the recipe card below.

Method

1- Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. When it displays hot, add the oil and then add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them pop.

2- Then add the onion, garlic, ginger and green chili. Saute 2 to 3 minutes.

3- Add the chopped tomatoes, stir and deglaze the pot. Add the coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, smoked paprika, salt and sugar.

Mix until combined.

4- Add the butternut squash and water (1/3 to 1/2 cup, squash releases a lot of water when pressure cooked).

step by step picture collage of making butternut squash bharta

5- Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then do a quick release.

6- Open the pot, press saute and then mash the cooked squash with a potato masher. You may also use a fork.

7- Cover the pot with a glass lid and let it simmer on saute mode for 7 to 10 minutes until the excess water evaporates and bharta becomes little dry.

Note: it splutters, so best to cover the pot with a glass lid when it’s simmering on saute.

8-  The bharta will thicken more as it cools down. Add cilantro.

step by step picture collage of making butternut squash bharta

Garnish with more cilantro and serve butternut squash bharta with roti, paratha or rice.

mashed butternut squash served in a black bowl with a spoon and garnished with cilantro

Adapted from The Splendid Table

If you’ve tried this Instant Pot Butternut Squash Bharta Recipe then don’t forget to rate the recipe! You can also follow me on FacebookInstagram to see what’s latest in my kitchen!

Instant Pot Butternut Squash Bharta

Butternut Squash mash with Indian spices! This easy side dish is wonderfully spiced, vegan, gluten-free and goes well with any bread or rice!

mashed butternut squash in a bowl with some flatbreads placed in the background
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Indian
Keyword butternut squash bharta
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Servings: 6 as a side
Calories: 139 kcal
Author: Manali
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Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons oil, 30 ml
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon black mustard seeds
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 6 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1.5 inch ginger, chopped
  • 1 green chili, chopped, or more to taste
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 2 lb diced butter nut squash, around 5 cups diced suqash
  • 1/3-1/2 cup water
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  1. Press the saute button on the Instant Pot. When it displays hot, add the oil and then add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them pop.

  2. Then add the onion, garlic, ginger and green chili. Saute 2 to 3 minutes.

  3. Add the chopped tomatoes, stir and deglaze the pot. There shouldn't be any browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add the coriander powder, red chili powder, garam masala, smoked paprika, salt and sugar. Mix until combined.

  4. Add the butternut squash and water (1/3 to 1/2 cup, squash releases a lot of water when pressure cooked).

  5. Close the pot with its lid. Press the manual or pressure cook button and cook on high pressure for 8 minutes. Let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes and then do a quick release.

  6. Open the pot, press saute and then mash the cooked squash with a potato masher. You may also use a fork.

  7. Cover the pot with a glass lid and let it simmer on saute mode for 7 to 10 minutes until the excess water evaporates and bharta becomes little dry. 

    Note: it splutters, so best to cover the pot with a glass lid when it's simmering on saute.

  8. The bharta will thicken more as it cools down. Add cilantro.Garnish with more cilantro and serve butternut squash bharta with roti, paratha or rice.

Oven Instructions

  1. To make this using the oven and stove-top, pre-heat oven to 425 F degrees. Drizzle the squash cubes with oil and roast at 425 F for 25 to 30 minutes or until very soft. Remove from oven.

  2. Heat oil in a pot on medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and mustard seeds. Let them pop and then add the onion, garlic, ginger and green chili. Saute for 2 to 3 minutes until onions soften. Then add the tomatoes and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add the spices, salt and sugar and stir for 30 seconds.

  3. Add the roasted squash and mash with a potato masher. Do not add any water. Stir and let it simmer for 5 minutes on medium-low heat, stirring often. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Recipe Notes

  1. This bharta is not very spicy. If you prefer spicy food, add more green chilies and more of the red chili powder.
Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Butternut Squash Bharta
Amount Per Serving
Calories 139 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 330mg14%
Potassium 722mg21%
Carbohydrates 24g8%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 6g7%
Protein 3g6%
Vitamin A 16677IU334%
Vitamin C 43mg52%
Calcium 88mg9%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

2 thoughts on “Instant Pot Butternut Squash Bharta

  1. Recipe looks simple and photo looks inviting.

    But do we get butternut in India? If not, what can this be replaced with?

    I would like to try this dish.

    Thank you

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