Peel the butternut squash. Halve it lengthways and scoop out the seeds (you can keep them for roasting, or compost them). Chop the squash into 3cm cubes. Quarter the tomatoes. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Set the veg to one side.
Peel and grate the turmeric, garlic and ginger (you might want to do this on a plate as the turmeric can stain wooden boards). Halve the chilli and flick out the seeds (if you prefer less heat). Finely chop it. Lightly crush 2 tsp fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar, or use a small bowl and the bottom of a jam jar.
Place a large pan on a medium heat for 2 mins. Add 1 tbsp oil and the onion and fry for 2 mins. Add the crushed fennel and fry for 1 min. Then add 1 tsp ground coriander, the turmeric, chilli, ginger and garlic. Sprinkle in 1 tbsp daal spice mix. Fry for 2 mins.
Pour in the coconut milk and add 300ml boiling water. Bring to a bubble. Carefully add in the squash and tomatoes. Pop on a lid and simmer on a medium-low heat for 30 mins.
While the curry is simmering, cook the rice. Place the rice in a bowl and cover with cold water. Whisk the rice for 2 mins (you can use a fork) till the water turns cloudy, then drain and rinse.
Heat ½ tbsp oil in a small pan. Add 6 curry leaves and fry for 2 mins. Add the rice and stir. Pour in 300ml boiling water. Very gently simmer the rice for 8-10 mins till the water has been absorbed and the grains are tender.
Pierce a squash chunk with a sharp knife. It should be tender. Taste and season the curry. Add the spinach leaves and stir through to wilt them.
Serve the squash and tomato curry with the rice, scattered with coriander leaves to garnish.