Tag Archives: vegetable

Butternut Squash Curry

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.

Img_3373

Ingredients

  • 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)

Directions

  • 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.

Beans Poricha Kootu/Green beans and mung dal stew

Today is my first blog post for Vegan MoFo 2011, a very awesome collective vegan blogging event. So for the month of October, I’ll be blogging a lot about vegan food and discovering tons of new stuff from 650+ other blogs.

I’d spent quite a bit of time about what the first post would be and fantasized about making something complex and time consuming, or kicking off with a sweet dish like any self-respecting Indian would do. But the week came and went and soon it was a Friday evening (after a long day at work) and I had to make a quick and nourishing meal in under an hour for couple of friends who were joining me for dinner.

As much as I’d love to throw a fabulous spread, the reality is that I am (like most others) starved for time and need something that is healthy, tasty and quick. It’s no wonder that the humble south indian kootu has a permanent place in my recipe repertoire. And to think I used to turn my nose up at this dish when I was young! Poritha means fried in Tamil and kootu is a general-purpose name for a stew that contains vegetables and lentils/beans seasoned with spices. I really don’t know what is fried here, as I certainly did no such thing. There really are innumerable combinations, and this is definitely not the first or last time a kootu will feature on this blog.

Img_3158

But the real icing on the cake is: it is extremely rare that I come across a poricha kootu recipe that is not vegan – even the omnis make this vegan! To me, that is alone worth extolling its virtues.