The best thing about mofo, even if I dont get to post regularly, is that I buy vegetables that I normally dont buy. Butternut squash is one of them. After trying it, I ask myself why I dont buy it more often. Butternut squash is sort of sweet, so I wanted to try it with a variety of other flavors – tangy and spicy. So I decided to cook it into a black-pepper-tamarind base, but ended up using far less liquid than I originally intended. So what started as a kozhambu, ended up resembling a stir fry. But no regrets as I took it to a friends place for a potluck dinner and we nearly wiped it out.
- Tamarind paste – 2t
- Butternut squash – 1 medium (yields about 3 cups chopped)
- Coconut, fresh or frozen, grated – 3T
- Peppercorns – 1t
- Cumin seeds – 1T
- Chana dal – 1T
- Salt – to taste
- Cilantro – to garnish
- Cornstarch mixed with water to thicken (optional)
- Peel and chop butternut squash into 1 inch cubes or smaller.
- In a saucepan, place chopped squash and pour just enough water to cover. Add tamarind paste and bring to a boil.
- In the meanwhile, dry roast the cumin, chana dal and peppercorns. Add more pepper if you like black pepper. Add more chana dal if you dont like it spicy.
- Grind the roasted stuff in a coffee grinder.
- Add the salt, ground spice mix and coconut to the now boiling mixture.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 10 minutes. The mixture will thicken, stir well to coat the squash with the sauce.
- Garnish with cilantro.
- Enjoy with rice or bread.