Friday, November 15, 2013

Fragrant Pumpkin/Winter Squash Stew In Coconut Milk

A very easy but rewarding stew that finds its way into everyone's favorite stew list!  Although similar to the Kerala special Olan, this stew has a bit of spice as well as onions. The simmering results in velvety soft veggies some of which melt into the cooking liquid to make a delectable rich sauce.

Fresh curry leaves and freshly ground cumin are the essential flavorings; if curry leaves are unavailable, use cinnamon sticks and bay leaves in addition to the cumin. Green chiles add their magical flavor; removing the core keeps the stew mild. Leave the chiles whole with the blossom ends slightly split for a milder stew; remove and discard the chile at the end of cooking.

You may use any flavorful pumpkins, winter squash or orange-colored sweet potatoes for this stew. I have used them all singly or in various combinations with great results.

Banana squash Stew

 Butternut (l), Castillo (at the back), and Banana squash in front

1 Tbsp Coconut oil
1 large Onion, sliced thinly into halfmoons
about 3 lbs. Any Pumpkin/Winter Squash
1-2 Hot Green Chiles (optional), cored and sliced
1 can Coconut Milk (14 oz. )
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds, coarsely ground
3-4 sprigs Fresh Curry Leaves, crushed
Sea Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric
1/2 cup raw or roasted Cashews

Ready for cooking

cooked Onion slices

Peel and cut the pumpkin/squash into bite size pieces.

Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onions, curry leaves and chile; sprinkle a pinch of salt and cook stirring until softened and beginning to color.

Add the pumpkin/squash with turmeric, the rest of the salt, about a cup of water and the coconut milk.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about 10 minutes; if the stew looks dry, add a little boiling water to thin to desired consistency.

Stir in the freshly ground cumin seeds and simmer covered until the veggies are soft, about 10 more minutes.

Serve hot over your favorite grains, with roti or other breads. Enjoy!!


Hari Chandana said...

Lovely recipe.. thanks for sharing!! :)

Geetha said...

You are welcome Hari Chandana! Happy cooking!