There are times when I miss not being able to get most of the traditional Indian vegetables, which make the traditional Indian curry recipes. In an effort to try and include the local produce both vegetables and other ingredients available easily into our daily meals is both challenging and healthy for both body and the pocket. So here is another humble attempt at recreating a traditional curry recipe out of non-traditional ingredients like butternut squash which is not a typical Indian vegetable but a close cousin of some of the vegetables locally grown in the Indian sub-continent. This recipe turns out a little wet but no gravy. It freezes well too. Makes about 6 to 7 portions.
Good to serve as an accompaniment with rice or chapatti / roti/ naan breads or even with a humble toast to mop off the extra juices. Can also be served on a bed of couscous or quinoa.
Butternut squash – 1, peeled and chopped into bit size pieces
Cooking onion – 1, deskinned and roughly chopped
Garlic – 2 cloves de skinned and chopped or garlic powder 1/4th tsp
Brown mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Fennel seeds – 1/4th tsp
Nigella seeds / onion seeds – ½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Ground coriander powder – 3/4th tsp
Red chilli powder – as per heat preference
Turmeric powder – 1/4th tsp
Garam masala powder – 1/4th tsp (optional)
Cooking oil – 1 tbsp. (I used olive oil)
Salt to taste
For the sour or tang element you could use any one of these or combination of all in appropriate proportions. Feel free to increase or decrease as per your preference
Tamarind paste – ½ tsp OR Dried mango powder / Amchoor – 1 tsp OR Pomegranate molasses – 3/4th tsp
Tomato (small) – 1 roughly chopped (optional)
Brown sugar – 1tsp Or Jaggery – 1 tsp OR Blackstrap molasses – 1/4th tsp
Coriander leaves for garnish – optional
How to make it –
- In a pan with heated oil, add all the whole seeds (mustard, fennel, nigella seeds, fenugreek seeds) and wait for the mustard seeds to splutter.
- Add the chopped onions and garlic and sauté until onions turn translucent.
- In a separate cup, mix chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder with 1 tsp pf water to make it into a paste, and pour this paste into the onion garlic mixture and give it a good stir.
- Add the butternut squash and mix well so that all the spices are evenly coats all the butternut squash.
- Add chopped tomatoes.
- Cover and cook on medium heat stirring in between until the butternut squash cooks well, but not mushy. The squash pieces should still retail their shape.
- Add the salt, sour element that you have and the sweet ingredient and mix well. Let it stay on medium heat for a further 2 mins. Remove from heat and serve garnished with coriander leaves.