Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Butternut, Coconut, Curry-nut?

Apparently, this has turned into the squash blog. Realizing this would be my third subsequent squash post, I almost posted about something else. However, the following things occurred to me:
  1. These are three quite different squash recipes, illustrating the versatility of the vegetable.
  2. Who would come here who doesn't want to hear more about squash‽
In my last post about squash-filled profiterole, I went on, possibly at too great a length, about why roasting a bunch of squash and keeping it in your fridge is a fabulous idea. I won't repeat myself, but it is; consider this recipe Exhibit B in the case. A rich, satisfying dish that balances sweet and savory, this contains a complete protein when you add rice and happens to be vegan, gluten-free and nut-free (the coconut, despite its name, does not affect those with tree-nut allergies).

As long as you already have roasted squash, this curry comes together in no time flat - about 20 minutes at the outside. Although I sometimes recommend forgetting to start the rice until well into cooking a dish to give you an incentive to let something simmer longer, this is a dish where you want to make sure to start the rice ahead of the other dish so you won't end up waiting on the rice.

I used a smallish (probably 2-3 lb) butternut squash for this dish, but other varieties of winter squash will also work. To roast squash, halve it, scoop out the seeds and place on a lightly oiled (foiled if you don't want to scrub) baking sheet. Bake at 375° for 35-60 minutes. Check at 30 minutes and poke the squash at its thickest part, then estimate how much longer until it's tender or check every 5-10 minutes.

Squash, Coconut & Chickpea Curry

vegan, gluten-free, nut-free
Takes about 20 minutes, serves 3-4
  • about 2 lb winter squash, roasted and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp brown mustard seed
  • ½ tsp. fenugreek seed
  • 1 tsp. cumin seed
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • ½ tsp. coriander
  • ½-1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½-1 tsp. salt
  • 1 15 oz. can chick peas, drained
  • 1 can coconut milk
In large, heavy bottomed pot, heat a few teaspoons of veg. oil over high heat. Add mustard, fenugreek, cumin and coriander. Once the seeds start to sizzle and pop, add the garlic and onion. Once onion has started to soften and brown a bit, add chick peas, turmeric, red pepper and salt. Toss, then add squash and coconut milk. The squash will start to break down and blend into the coconut milk, making for thick, saucy goodness. The squash shouldn't totally dissolve and dissappear, though.

Simmer for a few minutes, adjust seasoning and serve over rice. Cilantro is also nice addition right at the end, too.

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