Here's the perfect recipe to get you warmed up for the winter: my gingery Curried Acorn Squash.
I love going into the market these days and meeting up with all shapes and sizes of winter squashes. There are the warty ones and the bumpy ones and the lopsided ones and the teeny ones, all begging you to take them home for Halloween. Then there are the edible squashes: the pumpkins, the acorns, the butternuts and the kabochas, each unique, each delicious.
The other day, a handsome acorn squash came home with me. I wanted to try something really special, so I chopped him up and put him into a curry with some belly-warming ginger, some creamy coconut, and some sweet tomatoes. But first, I roasted him.
Okay, pay attention, I am still talking about a vegetable. So you might ask, Vaishali, why do I have to roast the squash when I can just add it to the pan and it'll cook up easily anyway. Well, here's the reason for that:
When you roast a squash, the flavor really intensifies and the squash gets all caramelly and even more delicious, if that's possible. And when you add this goodness to the creamy coconut sauce, it takes on a life of its own, resulting in a dish you will want to eat happily ever after.
It's not going to last that long, though. In fact, I am willing to bet it will be all gone in minutes. In my home, it did.
Here's the recipe.
Curried Acorn Squash
- 1 acorn squash (peeled and deseeded. Cut the flesh into ¾-inch cubes)
- 1 cup coconut milk (or ½ cup grated coconut)
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 dry red chillies
- 2 teaspoon ginger (grated)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 medium onion
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 tablespoon coriander powder
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 2 tomatoes
- Salt to taste
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup cilantro (chopped)
- Toss the acorn squash cubes with some salt and pepper. Spray them with oil, toss to coat, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake in a preheated 350-degree oven 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender. Set aside.
- Add the coconut milk, cumin seeds, red chillies and ginger to a blender. Blend into a smooth paste. If using grated coconut, add some water to make the paste.
- Heat the coconut oil, add the onions, and saute until the edges start to just brown.
- Add the turmeric, cumin powder and coriander powder. Stir to coat the onion with the spices.
- Add the coconut paste and cook, stirring frequently, until a lot of the moisture has evaporated. You need to do this to ensure all of the spices are cooked.
- Add the acorn squash cubes and the tomatoes. Stir to mix. Add some water if the curry is too dry.
- Bring to a boil, lower the heat to a simmer, and cook, covered, for 5 minutes.
- Add the sugar and mix well. Add the chopped cilantro and serve hot with rice or rotis.