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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
1 Hour 20 Minutes
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|
2 dessertspoons Greek Yogurt
|Ribbons of Carrots and Leeks (optional)|
|Fresh Coriander Leaves, chopped|
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.