Monday, 22 February 2016

Squash, Spice & Rice!

Zucca "Tandoori" con Pomodoro & Zenzero
Tandoori Butternut Squash with Tomato & Ginger

Is it an authentic Indian dish? No. Do I look like an Indian to you? And does it even matter? Haha! I am not calling this an Indian dish at all- it was my simple supper this evening and I am sharing how I made it here with you. 'Cause that's what I do!

The fact of the matter is that there was the other half of yesterdays little butternut squash left over. And something had to be done about it! Plain and simple as that!

So, what was I to do! Surely not a soup again- which would be the typical thing to make here in Europe. No- I wanted to do something to balance the sweetness of the squash and I thought that tandoori powder would be a great idea. I love the tanginess rather than the heat in its spice- it is so aromatic and pleasant! And with a little ginger to add depth and a few cherry tomatoes for more fruitiness, it was simply a cool combination.

These were my ingredients for one nice bowlful of goodness this evening- approx. 1 coffee mugful of diced butternut squash (this was half of a very small one here), 1 small onion, about 1" of fresh ginger, 6-7 cherry tomatoes, 1 heaped tablespoon of tandoori spice, 1 tablespoon of gram (chickpea) flour, sesame oil, salt, pepper and fresh parsley. This is what I had at home- and this is what I used!

So, yes, it was a simple dish made with simple ingredients- as are all of my meals... but when those simple ingredients are good ones, then the meal will be a good one too... and I hate to repeat myself- but again... it's as simple as that!

The preparation is simple too- begin by frying the finely chopped ginger and stems from the parsley in a little sesame oil to give it some good flavor, then add the onion and squash and fry until the onion becomes translucent.

When the onion and squash begin to brown slightly, deglaze the saucepan with enough boiling water to just about cover the squash and add the halved cherry tomatoes, the tandoori spice, a good pinch of salt and plenty of black pepper. Bring up to the boil, reduce to a gentle simmer and allow to cook for 10 minutes on a low flame.

In the meantime, you can begin steaming or boiling your rice.

After 10 minutes or so, stir together 1 tablespoon of chickpea flour with a little warm water and add it to the squash and tomatoes, then top up the juices with more boiling water until everything is covered, stir well and allow to continue simmering away for a further 10-15 minutes, until the squash is tender and the sauce has thickened up nicely. 

And in the meantime, again, turn off the rice and allow it to sit covered and become fluffy and ready to serve.

Serve with plenty of freshly ground pepper and a sprinkle of parsley- and enjoy! It's not Indian- but chances are, if you are reading this- that neither are you! And chances are that you will enjoy this as much as I did too!

Because... what's not to like about a bowl of good honest food like this???

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