Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Coconut Curry

I have been away. I have been occupied and preoccupied and trying to be a better version of me, which is much harder than I thought. I last posted a recipe right before Thanksgiving and now Christmas Eve is upon us.

For some reason I could not stop watching the iZombie episodes. Story of a doctor/girl who went to a boat party, was scratched by a zombie and turned into one. She works at a morgue and… maybe I shouldn’t finish the story seeing as I am about to talk about food. I used to like zombie movies and then for the longest time I didn’t. It’s strange but I was hooked on this particular TV series and saw it through to the end. The dialogue is pretty funny, somewhat witty and sarcastic at times. My husband thinks it is disgusting and refuses to watch it with me. Oh well…back to cooking.

This is a delicious one folks. Butternut squash and sweet potatoes cooked in coconut milk, tamarind paste and spices. The original recipe does not use sweet potatoes. I brought some to work for a co-worker to try and she said it was ‘Slap ya mama good!’. Her words, not mine. It takes no time at all, especially if like me, you have the cubed vegetables in the freezer from another meal. I had extra squash and potatoes from when I made slow cooker butternut squash, sweet potato and beef chili back in April.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend preparing and feasting with family and friends. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

Ingredients
All the good stuff you need for this dish–1 tbsp tamarind paste (I bought mine from Whole Foods and there are 2 small packets in the box. I used 1 packet), 1 can coconut milk (I like the Chaokoh brand), peanut oil, butternut squash and sweet potatoes or just butternut squash if you are against sweet potatoes or simply want to follow the recipe, shallots (I used 2), 1 jalapeno, 3 cloves of garlic, a piece of fresh ginger, 2 tsp coriander seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 1/2 tsp of fennel seeds, 1/2 tsp of turmeric 1/2 tsp of Kashmiri chili powder and salt of course. The recipe also calls for Balinese long pepper, which I could not find so I omitted it. You can use Thai, jalapeno or any other pepper. You also need some chopped cilantro for garnish.
Toasted Spices
I could have sworn I had cumin in the pan but maybe I didn’t..I’m certainly losing it! Well, I did add cumin to the mortar and pestle after I toasted these. Toast until wonderfully fragrant. Just thinking of it makes me smile 🙂 Wait for it to cool a bit.
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Take that pestle and grind away. Think of someone you hate or something… 😉
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Chop the garlic cloves, mince the ginger and slice the shallots.
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When you have the shallots, ginger and garlic ready, start cooking the rice. I like this Jyoti brand as the rice is nice and long. This time I am using brown instead of white.

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Add the shallot, garlic and ginger to a heated pan of oil and cook until translucent. Now add your toasted spices and chili powder and turmeric. It should smell heavenly!
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Dump the squash and sweet potatoes in there and give it a good mix. Then add the tamarind paste, coconut milk, water and and salt and another good mix.
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It looks so good! Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, for about 45 minutes. I think mine was done in about 40 minutes. Just keep checking after half an hour to make sure the squash and potato are soft.
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Fluff the brown rice with a fork and prepare your plate.
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Delicious! Make it pretty with some chopped cilantro. I would say pretty healthy as well. This is my kind of comfort food 🙂

Recipe taken and slightly adapted from thekitchn

Butternut Squash & Coconut Curry

Serves 4-6

2 teaspoons coriander seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 medium (roughly 2 1/2 pound) butternut squash
3 tablespoons cooking oil, such as grapeseed or peanut oil
1 large shallot, peeled and sliced
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1/2-inch knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 jalapeño chile, chopped (seeds optional, for extra heat)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne (optional, for extra heat)
2 small, dried red chilies (optional, for extra heat)
1 Balinese Long Pepper (optional)
1 tablespoon tamarind paste
1 14-ounce can coconut milk
1 cup water
1 teaspoon salt or to taste
Cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, to serve

In a small, dry skillet over medium heat, toast the coriander, cumin, and fennel seeds. Once cool, grind the toasted spices in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle.

Meanwhile, peel and dice the squash into bite-sized pieces. You should have about 5-6 cups of squash.

Warm the oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and ginger. Cook, stirring, until the shallots are soft and translucent. Add the chile, turmeric, cayenne (if using), small dried red chiles (if using), Balinese Long Pepper (if using), and the ground toasted spices. Stir to release fragrance, cooking for 2-3 minutes.

Add the squash, tamarind paste, coconut milk, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for about 45 minutes until squash is tender and just beginning to break down. The squash will thicken the curry as it cooks down. If you want an extra-thick and creamy curry, puree a cup or two of the squash with an immersion blender and mix it back into the curry.

Garnish each plate with sprigs of cilantro and serve with cooked rice.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Maria says:

    Merry Christmas and happy cooking to you!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marale says:

      Right back at ya! 🙂

      Like

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