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Roasted Butternut Squash Stew

Mridula Baljekar - Butternut Squash Stew
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Butternut squash is one of winter's most beautiful gifts.
In this recipe I have teamed it up with a few of my store cupboard ingredients to create a stunning winter warmer. It is perfect for bonfire night and also very comforting on a cold, wintry evening. Serve it with lots of hot crusty rolls to mop up the deliciously spiced juices
- Mridula Baljekar

Serves:

6

Preparation Time:

10 Minutes.

Cooking Time:

1 Hour 20 Minutes

Ingredients:

2 teaspoons Coriander Seeds
1 teaspoon Cumin Seeds
2.5cm/1" piece Cinnamon Stick, broken up
1-2 Dried Ded Chillies, scissor snipped
1 Butternut Squash, peeled and cut into about 5cm/2" chunks
2 Carrots, peeled and cut into 5cm/2" lengths
2 Leeks, roughly chopped
2 teaspoon Fresh Root Ginger, grated or finely chopped
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Green Chilli, finely chopped
75g/2½ oz Red Split Lentils, washed and drained
1 large Onion, cut into chunks
2 ripe Tomatoes, cut into chunks
2 Porcini or Vegetable Stock Cubes, crumbled
3 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and freshly milled pepper to taste
400g/14oz can of Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2 cooked and peeled Beetroot cut into about 2.5cm/1" cubes

To serve:

2 dessertspoons Greek Yogurt
Ribbons of Carrots and Leeks (optional)
Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/375F/Gas mark 5.

2. In a small heavy pan dry roast the coriander, cumin, cinnamon and chilli over a medium-low heat stirring constantly until you can smell the aroma (40-50 seconds). Cool and grind them in a coffee mill or mortar and pestle.

3. Put all the ingredients including the ground spices, but excluding the chickpeas and beetroot, into a heavy, ovenproof pan and mix thoroughly. Cover the pan tightly and cook in the centre of the oven for 1 hour. Stir in the chickpeas and cook for a further 15 minutes when the vegetables will be deliciously tender. Add 400ml/14 fl oz boiling water and stir well so that the mushy butternut squash form a thick golden background. Adjust the amount of water according to the consistency liked. Check the seasoning.

4. Remove the pan from the oven and stir in the beetroot. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the yogurt. Place the vegetable ribbons on top (If using) and garnish with the coriander leaves.

Cook's tip: You can cook this in advance, but check the consistency as it will thicken on standing. You may need to add a little water while reheating.

© Mridula Baljekar. All rights reserved.