I have been making an effort to eat local and eat what is in season. To help with this initiative, I only shop at the farmer’s market as much as I can. The only exceptions are curry leaves and mango.
My kids sometimes complain that I always find some type of squash in the market, they are right, you will always find some kind of squash in the market. The butternut squash is typically available in fall. The market I go to, one farmer carries organic apples and different kinds of squashes. I love butternut squash since it holds its shape fairly well even after cooking.
When I was ready to cook this squash, my friend Hrushikesh posted this recipe. This recipe reminded me of the subji that is served as a Prasad ( a blessing) at a a very famous temple. I visited it when I was in 7th grade. I fondly remember sitting on the floor and eating this subji with thick whole wheat rotis on a plate made with dried leaves. I did not know what Bio degradable or compostable meant, now I appreciate that plate even more.
So I decided to try the recipe right away and the outcome was delicious. It can be easily tweaked to be eaten as a fasting food as well.
Savory butternut squash
3/4 kgs of pumpkin chopped in squares of about 2″ x 2″ (peels on)
3/4 cup grated dried coconut
1 tbsp Poppy seeds ( खसखस )
2 green chillies finely chopped
2 medium sized dried chillies
1 tbsp cashews chopped
10-15 fenugreek seeds
2 tsp Corriander powder
1 full stem of curry leaves
2 tbsp Raisins
1/2 cup of water
1 1/2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
A pinch of asafoetida
Peel the squash and cut in cubes.
If you are using pumpkin, you can leave the skin on as it helps keep the cubes intact and does not get mushy.
Heat the oil in a wok. When hot, add cumin seeds, turmeric powder and asafoetida.
Add the raisins, curry leaves, green & red chillies, cashew nuts, fenugreek seeds,poppy seeds and roast it for about 2 mins.
Now add 1 tsp of corriander powder (the remaining 1 tsp goes in at the end) and roast it for another minute or slow on a low flame.
Add a few drops of water if it starts to burn.
You can add more chillies if you like, since the squash has its natural sweet taste, sugar or jaggery is not required
Now add the cut pumpkin cubes, there’s no need to steam it as these cubes do get cooked well.
Add 1/4 cup of water and cover this with a lid for about 3-4 mins. Check after that add some more water and let it cook for another 4-5 mins or until done.
Add the roasted dry coconut & 1 tsp of Dhaniya powder.
Cook it till its done.
Serve it hot with roti or Teekhi puris.