It is amazing what three easy steps and a few spices can do to butternut squash. This firm winter squash with its camel exterior and orange flesh easily cooks down into a divine dish with a soft mashed consistency. This was served at my book launch party at Whole Foods Market and the guests were raving about it! Children also love this dish, and it makes a nice little sandwich when stuffed between a soft dinner roll...even adults love the mini sandwiches! I made this dish at our previous family Thanksgiving dinner and it was enjoyed by all, so it will be appearing again at the table this year! The spice level is mild, but can be increased if you prefer. Butternut squash have thick necks with a rounded bottom. Look for firm ones with matte, rather than glossy skin, which indicate it was picked too early and will not be sweet. These squash keep for a few weeks in a cool dark place such as your pantry. Butternut squash have carotenoids, which are compounds that give it its bright orange color, help prevent cancer, and are good for your cardiovascular health.
Serves 3 to 4
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Refrigerator life: 3 days
Freezer life: 1 month
Reheating method: Place the refrigerated or defrosted butternut squash in a microwave, cover and stir periodically. Or, place it in a saucepan over medium-low heat and stir periodically.
1 butternut squash (about 1½ lbs/700 g) 4 tablespoons vegetable oil ½ teaspoon cumin seeds ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper (cayenne) ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
1. Wash and peel the butternut squash with a vegetable peeler or knife. The peel is tough, so you may have to use a bit of force to peel it off until you see the orange-yellow flesh. Cut off both ends and discard. Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Using a spoon, scoop out any seeds and strings and discard. Chop the squash into about 1-inch (2.5 cm) pieces.
2. Pour the oil into a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. When the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds and let brown, about 10 seconds. Do not let the cumin seeds burn and turn black. Immediately add the chopped squash, turmeric, red pepper, salt, and black pepper. Stir to combine.
3. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the saucepan. Cook until the squash becomes completely soft and mashed, stirring occasionally and mashing the squash with a large spoon, about 25 minutes. Enjoy now or let cool to room temperature and refrigerate or freeze for later!
Recipe from "Healthy Indian Vegetarian Cooking, Easy Recipes for the Hurry Home Cook" by Shubhra Ramineni. Reprinted with the express permission of Tuttle Publishing, a member of the Periplus Publishing Group. www.enticewithspice.com
Copyright 2011-2016 Shubhra Ramineni. All rights reserved.