Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Kaddu ka Bharta ~ Vegan Butternut squash / Pumpkin curry

Fall is officially here, although some days it is so warm here that it feels more like summer than fall. But the vegetable section at our local grocery definitely feels like fall with the variety of squash available there. I like all kinds of squash, but butternut squash and pumpkins are particular favorites of mine. Both of these are so versatile that they can easily be used in everything from curries to soups to baking. Usually when I feel like making curry with butternut squash curry, I tend to make something simple like this curry . But recently when I purchased butternut squash I felt like making something "different" for a change of pace.

A quick search online led me to this recipe of kaddu ka bharta on Tarla Dalal's site that sounded intriguing. The only kind of bharta I have ever tasted is one made with eggplants/ baingan ka bharta. She had made the curry with pumkins/ kaddu but I decided to adapt and make something similar with butternut squash. If you are watching your calories, here is a cool bit of info about the calorie content of both butternut squash and pumpkins. 1 cup of 1 inch pieces of butternut squash has just 63 calories and pumpkin has even less with 1 cup of 1 inch pieces of pumpkin having just 30 calories. This was such an easy and flavorful curry, the four kinds of seeds used in it gives it a very unique flavor. It is also very easy to make and works well with any kind of phulka/ flat bread/ roti. 

Click here for a printable view of this recipe

Ingredients and method to make kaddu ka bharta (adapted from this recipe)
8 cups of peeled and cubed pieces of butternut squash (or pumpkin/ kaddu/ paringikai)
1 red onion cut fine ( pyaaz/ vengayam)
2 Tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds ( jeera/ jeeragam)
1 tsp fennel seeds ( saunf / sombu)
1/2 tsp nigella seeds/ onion seeds ( kalonji / karunjeeragam)
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds ( methi seeds / mendiyam)
3 Thai or Indian variety green chilies cut fine ( hari mirch/ pachai molagai)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder ( haldi/ manjal podi)
2 tsp dry mango powder ( amchur powder ) ( see notes )
Salt to taste ( namak/ uppu)
1/2 tsp red chili powder ( or to taste) ( lal mirch/ thani molaga podi) ( see notes)
3 - 4 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro for garnish ( coriander leaves/ hara dhania / kothamalli ) 

Peel and cube butternut squash/ pumpkin/ kaddu into 3/4 inch pieces. Cut onion and keep aside.

In a large heavy bottomed pan, heat oil on medium heat. Add cumin, fennel, onion seeds and fenugreek seeds and stir a few times. When the seeds begin to sizzle and the fenugreek/ methi begins to brown a little add green chilies and onions and sauté until onions turn translucent.

Add butternut squash / pumpkin pieces, all the spices, salt to taste, a little water. Mix well, cover with a lid and cook until the squash/ pumpkin is cooked and soft. Stir frequently to ensure even cooking and add more water if required. Once the squash/ pumpkin is cooked, mash gently with the back of a spatula until some of the pieces are mashed and some still hold a bit more shape. Add more water if required to achieve required consistency and simmer for a few minutes until the flavors mingle.

Garnish with cilantro/ coriander leaves. 

Serve hot with phulkas/ flat bread/ rotis.

Serves approx 4 

If you scale down the heat from green chilies/ chili powder, do scale down the dry mango powder/ amchur powder a tad bit.

This recipe can be halved if required.

If you are looking for curries that go well with phulkas/ rotis/ flatbread, here are a few more....

Butternut squash/ Pumpkin curry  ~ Kaddu ki sabzi 

Mixed Vegetable Kurma ~ Broccoli Peas Curry

Tomato Coconut Curry ~ Thakkali Kozhambu
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