Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Vegan Butternut Squash/ Pumpkin Coconut Curry ~ Kaddu ki sabzi~Parangikkai kootu

Weekends are usually when I plan more elaborate menus and potter around in  the kitchen way longer than usual. But even on the weekends there are days when the idea of a simple lunch combination, sounds way more appealing than an elaborate lunch.  Something hot, tasty, simple and nourishing sounds like heaven on such days. A few weeks back when I was in the mood for a simple weekend lunch, I made this combination of butternut squash kootu and more kozhambu.

Kootu is a kind of a South Indian curry that is simply flavored with coconut and green chilies. This kind of curry is made with a variety of vegetables, and works amazingly well with any vegetable in the squash family. Paired with some more kozhambu/ South Indian kadhi/ buttermilk curry and some plain steamed rice, even this simple lunch ended up being quite a treat :)

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Ingredients and Method to make butternut squash curry
1 butternut squash peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces = approx 4 cups of cut pieces (or pumpkin/ kaddu / parangikkai)
1/2 cup chickpea lentil ( chana dhal/ kadalai parappu)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder ( haldi/ manjal podi)
Salt to taste ( namak/ uppu)

Grind together
1/3 cup fresh grated coconut ( or frozen thawed to room temperature ) ( nariyal/ thengai)
3 Thai or Indian variety green chilies ( or to taste) (hari mirch/ pachai molagai)

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1 tsp mustard seeds ( rai / kadagu )
1 tsp split black gram lentil ( udad dhal/ ulatham parappu)

8 to 12 curry leaves ( kadi patha/ karvapillai ) torn into small pieces for garnish (optional but recommended)

Soak chick pea lentil (chana dhal) in sufficient water for 1/2 an hour to an hour. Drain the lentils after an hour, place in a heavy bottomed pan with sufficient water and cook on stove top until it is almost cooked.

Add butternut squash/ pumpkin pieces, add turmeric powder and salt to taste, add a little water, close with a lid and cook until the butternut squash is cooked and soft, yet retains it's shape. 

In the meanwhile grind coconut and green chilies with a little water until it becomes a smooth paste. Add the coconut paste to the cooked butternut squash, adjust water as needed to achieve required consistency and simmer for a couple of minutes until the flavors mingle.

In a small pan heat oil, add mustard seeds, when the seeds begin to splutter, add split black gram lentil to it. Stir a few times, when the lentils begin to redden, pour the entire seasoning on the kootu/ curry.

Remove from heat, garnish with curry leaves and serve hot with some plain steamed rice and some sambar, rasam or more kozhambu on the side. This can also be served as a side dish for phulkas / flatbread.

If you are looking for butternut squash/ pumpkin recipes here are a few more,

Kaddu ka Bharta ~Butternut squash/ pumpkin curry

Kaddu ki sabzi ~ Butternut squash/ pumpkin curry 

Vegan Curried Roasted Butternut squash soup

Egg Free Pumpkin Wheat Muffins
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