Aromatic butternut squash
This dish is traditionally made with jaggery, but for the sake of convenience—without compromising the authenticity of the taste—I have used brown sugar. Grated coconut adds a wonderful dimension to the texture and flavor of this slightly sweetened butternut squash dish. These very same ingredients are used in Butternut Squash Soup with Exotic Spices, but there the squash is puréed with coconut milk. This can be served with Basmati Rice with DryRoasted Spices.
– 2 tablespoons oil; ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
– 2 dried red chili peppers, stemmed; 1-in (2.5-cm) cinnamon stick
– 2 bay leaves; 1 cup (150 g) chopped onion
– 1 lb (500 g) butternut squash, peeled and diced; 1 teaspoon ground coriander seeds
– 1 teaspoon brown sugar
– Salt, to taste; 1 cup (100 g) fresh or frozen grated coconut
– ¼ cup (65 ml) water; ¼ cup (10 g) fresh coriander leaves (cilantro), chopped.
Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the cumin seeds, red chili peppers, cinnamon stick and bay leaves, and fry briefly. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the squash, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly to prevent sticking, for 5 minutes. Add the ground coriander, brown sugar and salt, and cook until the squash is softened.
Add the grated coconut and stir to break up any lumps and blend it into the squash. Add the water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Taste for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Garnish with the chopped fresh coriander leaves.
Food: Aromatic Butternut Squash