From Sunset October 2011
I love pumpkin, so October’s festivities always provide me with an excellent reason to make as many dishes from it as possible! Cream of Butternut Squash Soup, Roasted Pumpkin with honey, Pumpkin Jam–you name it. Butternut Squash Curry Stew and Basmati Rice are the best recipes ever for the month of Hallows Eve. Creamy Coconut Sauce mixed with a variety of different spices, cashew nuts, and squash melts on the tongue, delighting it with sublime flavor. Here you will find the original version. When I make it, however, I add dry curry instead of the curry leaves–an innovation that has worked fine for me. I also added cilantro as a garnish for color and extra flavor. Happy Autumn everyone!
- 1 ½ qts. peeled, 1 ½ in. chunks pumpkin or other orange-fleshed squash (from a 3-lb. squash)
- About 1 tsp. kosher salt, divided
- 3 tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
- 1 onion halved and cut into half moons
- 1or2 red or green Serrano chiles, minced
- 1 cinnamon stick (2 ½ in. long)
- 20 fresh curry leaves or 6 dried bay leaves
- 1 tsp. each turmeric and cumin seeds
- 1 cup salted roasted cashews
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- Steamed basmati rice
Sprinkle pumpkin with ½ tsp. salt. Heat 1 tbsp. oil in a large nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown half the pumpkin in oil, turning once, 6to8 minutes; reduce heat if pumpkin starts to get dark. Transfer into bowl and repeat with1 tbsp. oil and remaining pumpkin.
Heat remaining 1 tbsp. oil meanwhile in another large frying pan over medium heat. Cook onions, stirring occasionally, until deep golden, 12 to 15 minutes. Transfer half to the nonstick frying pan and reserve other half to bowl.
Add chiles , cinnamon, and curry leaves to onion in pan. Cook, stirring often, until curry leaves are very fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add turmeric, cumin, and remaining ½ tsp. salt and cook, stirring until spices are fragrant, about 1 minute.
Return pumpkin to nonstick frying pan (with onion) and add coconut milk. Bring to a boil over high heat, then cover, reduce heat, then simmer until pumpkin is tender, 5 to 10 minutes. Stir in cashews and lemon juice, and add more salt to taste. Top curry with reserved onion and serve with rice.