Monday, November 28, 2011

Great Eats: Butternut Squash & Coconut Milk Curry

Combing butternut squash, curry powder and coconut milk is some sort of magical trifecta - a potent and accessible combination of hearty, warm spices that is near fool-proof. The curry and coconut milk elevate the humble squash into a soft sponge of flavor and the spices combine for a warming, pleasant dish that is ideal for the long, frigid winter evenings. Plus, making this dish is sure to fill your kitchen with a pleasant, drool-inducing scent that will have any guests dying for a taste. And as if all that isn't enough - this is one of those vegetarian dishes that would make a quick convert from the any meat-eater.
Read on and believe:

If list of spices seems long, the preparation is dead simple, and the whole affair takes no time at all.

 2 tbs vegetable oil

One onion, peeled and diced
One carrot, peeled, diced
2.5" fresh ginger, peeled and diced finely
4 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
2 - 2 1/2 tsp curry powder
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 tsp sea salt
1 can coconut milk
1/2 - 3/4 cup water
1 16oz. can diced tomatoes (preferably with no salt added)
1 medium size butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced into 1" cubes

Begin by peeling and dicing the onion, carrot and ginger and the squash. Use a spoon to remove the seeds and roast if so inclined. Get ready all the spices and place them in a ramekin or dish to have ready to add. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in large saucepan and when it's hot, add the onion, carrot, ginger and garlic. Cook for a few minutes, until softened (don't burn it). If the crunch of fresh ginger puts you off, cook it for a few extra minutes. Pour in the can of tomatoes and stir. Add the spices and heat for a few more minutes. When the mixture is bubbling, add the coconut milk and the squash. Add the water - adjust your measurement so that most of the squash is covered with the sauce. Stir the mixture and adjust seasonings to taste - if the mixture tastes bland, try adding more salt or oil first and then more spices.

Lower the heat to medium and cover. Go ahead and make your rice then. Stir the squash every 5 or so minutes and taste - the squash should be soft, but not mushy, no more than 15 minutes.

Et voila! Serve with the rice, with naan or yogurt. And don't forget to share.

No comments: