Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Kabocha Squash in Indian-Style Curry

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I've been contemplating what to do with this confection kabocha squash that we found in our local farmer's market. In most instances, I would roast it and have it as a side. But that's so BORING! A squash this beautiful with such unique sage/slate gray skin deserves special treatment. So I decided to make an Indian-style curry with this squash and it turned out great. The delicate sweet flavors of the squash mellowed out the spicy curry, making it a balanced and flavorful dinner.

You'll need:
  • 1/2 kabocha squash, seeded, peeled and diced (note: squash can be tough and hard to peel. I find that if you chop it to large wedges and microwave for 2 minutes, the squash will soften, making it easier to peel. Also, this will allow the squash to cook faster in the curry.)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 3 Thai chilies, roughly chopped
  • 1 15-ounce can whole or diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon whole cumin seeds
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon tumeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried mango powder (optional)
Begin by adding onion, garlic and ginger into a food processor. Pulse until the vegetables are well mixed and chopped. In a medium, heavy lidded pot, heat up canola oil until it shimmers. Add cumin seeds and brown mustard seeds. The seeds should start popping immediately. Stir in onion, ginger and garlic mixture. Gently stir and allow mixture to cook. In the meantime, pulse whole/diced tomatoes with juice in food processor until tomatoes are chopped. When the onion is softened and translucent, stir in ground cumin, ground coriander, ginger powder, garlic powder, tumeric, ground cardamon and garama masala. Stir until fragrant, about a minute or 2. Stir in tomatoes. Gently cook until most of the liquid evaporates and the mixture turns into a paste consistency. Season with salt. Stir in garbanzo beans and diced squash. Add 2 cups of vegetable stock. Bring stock to dimmer. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes, or until squash is completely cooked. Taste and adjust seasoning, if necessary. Stir in dried mango powder (optional). Serve over rice or with naan.

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