Sunday, September 25, 2011

Savory Squash with Spinach and Coconut Milk

When I arrived home from Europe, I found 3 squashed on my cabinet. They sat, taunting me, until this week when I finally had the chance to use one of them. This recipe calls for bottle gourd squash, but I used a delicata squash as that's what I had on hand. I was a bit concerned that this recipe would be lacking in flavour due to the shortage of spices, but I found it remarkably tasting. I did overdo it a bit on the sliced jalapenos because I overcompensated for the lack of serrano chiles. Use your own judgement on that. I served this over rice.

Savory Squash with Spinach and Coconut Milk (from 660 Curries)

680g bottle gourd squash
2 tbsp coconut oil or canola oil
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seed
2 - 4 fresh green Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles, to taste, stems removed, cut crosswise into 1/4" slices
1 cup coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp coarse kosher or sea salt
680g fresh spinach, well rinsed and coarsely chopped
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro
10 medium to large fresh curry leaves (I used dried and added them in the simmering stage)

1. Peel squash and remove seeds. Cut into 1/4" cubes.
2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add mustard seeds, cover, and cook until seeds have stopped popping, about 30 seconds.
3. Add squash and chiles and stir-fry for 1-2 minutes.
4. Pour in coconut milk and squash (and dry curry leaves if not using fresh).
5. Add 1/3 of spinach, cover and cook until greens are wilted, 2 - 4 minutes.
6. Repeat with remaining spinach.
7. Reduce heat to medium low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally until squash is tender, 15 - 20 minutes.
8. Uncover and raise heat to medium high. Cook, stirring occasionally until coconut milk thickens, about 5 minutes.
9. Stir in cilantro and serve.

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