Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bengali Squash in Coconut Milk

I can already hear my office mate's objection to this recipe. How is it any different from the Indian squash dish you already made? Granted, they are somewhat similar, but at the same time different which different seasoning and heat levels. I found this one to be much milder than the last and the turmeric gave it a lovely colour. The original calls for bottle gourd squash, but I used butternut. This recipe also calls for fenugreek and nigella seeds which I didn't have on hand despite the boy's insistence that there must be every spice known to man in the cabinet. Instead, I upped the amount of mustard used in the recipe.

Bengali Squash in Coconut Milk (from 660 Curries)

680g bottle gourd squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
2 tbsp mustard oil or canola oil
2 tsp Panch phoron (or roughly 2/3 tsp fennel seeds and 1/3 tsp each cumin seeds, fenugreek seeds, nigella seeds, and black/yellow mustard seeds)
2 - 4 dried red Thai, cayenne, or serrano chiles, stems removed
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground turmeric
1 can unsweetened coconut milk
2 tbsp finely chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in a medium-size skillet over medium high heat. Sprinkle in panch phoron and chiles and stir-fry until chiles blacken and seeds crackle, pop, and are aromatic, about 1 minute.
2. Add squash, salt, and turmeric. Cook, stirring, until squash is coated with spices, 1 - 2 minutes.
3. Pour in coconut milk and stir. As soon as it starts to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover skillet, and simmer, stirring occasionally until squash is juicy-tender, 20 - 25 minutes.
4. Stir in cilantro and serve.

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