This is a wonderful autumn dish; itís delicious, comforting and very easy to prepare. The bold contrast in both flavors and textures gives this dish a different and unique twist. I love butternut squash, it has a lovely sweet and almost nutty taste.
Butternut squash is not your typical Indian vegetable but I have adapted it specifically for this recipe. In a sense, I have taken the liberty and ďIndianizedĒ butternut squash! When cooked, the squash becomes very sweet and almost creamy in texture, which works very well with the spices and the crunchy cashews. Itís a perfect combination and a definite match made in heaven! Itís also a great way for kids to enjoy eating their vegetables and I guarantee they will even ask for seconds!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH with CASHEWS
2 lbs of butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup raw cashews
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 large garlic clove, finely minced
Ĺ" piece of ginger, peeled and finely minced
4-6 fresh curry leaves
1 tsp black mustard seeds
pinch of asafetida
3-4 dried red chilies
1 tsp ground coriander powder
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ground cumin powder
pinch of ground fenugreek seeds (methi powder), optional
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tsp of soft dark brown sugar
salt & pepper to taste
ghee or unsalted butter
freshly chopped cilantro leaves
In a large wok on medium high heat, add 1 tbsp of ghee. When hot, add the cashews and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes until golden brown. Remove and drain well on paper towels. Set aside until needed.
To the same wok, add a 1 tbsp of ghee. When melted, carefully add the black mustard seeds. When the splattering stops, reduce the heat to medium and add the curry leaves, ground fenugreek and asafetida. Then add the shallots and stir-fry 3-4 minutes until just slightly browned. Add the ginger, garlic and dried red chilies. Add the spices (ground coriander, ground cumin, turmeric and garam masala). Add the butternut squash and mix to combine all of the ingredients. Reduce the heat, cover and let cook 6-8 minutes until the butternut squash is just tender.
Remove the lid and gently stir in the orange juice and sugar. Let the butternut squash turn golden brown and caramelized, this may take up to 5 minutes or more. Add the cashews and toss well to combine. Garnish with freshly chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with hot chapathis and fragrant Basmati rice.
Try making this dish using acorn squash, delicata squash, sweet potatoes, yams or even pumpkin.