Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Heart Curry

It's been a while since I posted -- it's turned out to be a crazy busy week for me, with work, dentist trips, running and yoga. So the food I'm about to rave about was mainly cooked last Sunday. But even though it was a while ago, the yumminess is still fresh in my mind and I want to share the joy.

I managed to check off everything on my Sunday list. The bread I made was pretty disastrous since it didn't rise and I might have baked it for too long, but it was still edible and actually tasted pretty good. My first experience with making chutney and canning went well, but I have to wait two weeks to see how it turned out because that's how long it apparently takes for chutney to become uber-delicious.

For breakfast on Sunday I made a favorite -- steel-cut oats. I used pureed pumpkin instead of milk and added raisins and bananas. It was yummy, although I think the apple and cinnamon is still my favorite.

Eat me!
We had leftover soup for lunch as planned, and I rustled up a quick afternoon snack while baking bread and making chutney. Pita bread cut into triangles + olive oil spray + baking for about 7 minutes = yummy pita chips to go along with the red lentil masala dip I got last week from Trader Joe's.

Dip that chip
After all that work I felt crazy for even attempting to make dinner. But I did anyway, and I'm glad I did. It turned out amazing. I recently got an Indian cookbook and was dying to try out a recipe or two. The one I chose was for zucchini (courgette) curry, but I used kabocha squash instead (also known as Japanese pumpkin, it's green on the outside, orange in the middle, and sweeter than a regular pumpkin).

Almost too pretty to eat!
This recipe is not actually very spicy, but it has a wonderful flavor that I imagine would be equally tasty with a regular pumpkin or butternut squash. I made the whole recipe, which serves 4, and had the leftovers for lunch on Monday and Tuesday.

Kabocha Squash Curry

1 kabocha squash, pumpkin or butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds (I used Colman's mustard powder instead)
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon tomato paste
14-oz can chopped tomatoes
2/3 cup water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon garam masala

Cut squash in half, remove seeds and chop roughly. If using pumpkin or butternut squash, peel before chopping. If using kabocha squash, leave the skin on.

Heat oil in a large heavy pan and fry cumin and mustard seeds for 2 minutes. If using powder, skip this step.

Add onions and garlic and saute for 5 minutes.

Add cumin, mustard powder (if using), turmeric, chili powder, coriander and salt. Fry for 2-3 minutes.

Add squash and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Mix tomato paste and chopped tomatoes, and water with cornstarch, and stir both into the pan. Cover and simmer for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce starts to thicken.

Add chopped cilantro and garam masala and mix well to coat. Cook for a further 5 minutes, or until the squash is tender. Serve over brown rice.

Makes 4 servings.

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