Warm squash curry to nudge out winter weather blues

Butternut squash curry and other preparations are fairly common in different parts of India but call it a “squash” in that part of the world and you could be met with a blank stare. Some may call it squash, we say it’s a pumpkin. You know, tomayto-tomahto.

Butternut squash is called Kalyaana Poosunikai in Tamil (spoken in the southern region of the Indian sub-continent and among the oldest “living” classical languages…. whoah! Yup.) which can roughly be translated to Wedding Pumpkin. I’ve always assumed it was favored in wedding menus at the time of its christening but I’m just guessing wildly.

This butternut squash curry recipe was another delectable find from Gourmet magazine. It goes further South and further East than India but it’s simple and the ingredients are kitchen staples which makes it my favorite kind of recipe. See the original recipe here. I added garlic, butter and adjusted other portions for my taste and the order in which I cook some of the ingredients may vary.

South Asian Butter Nut Squash Curry (Jay)

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Green, gooey n’ good-to-the-last-drop lentil curry

My family has chowed down about as much of every kind of lentil as any lentil loving Indian family and we do love our lentils. However, the yummy green bean, aka Mung or Moong, never snagged a starring role in my mom’s kitchen. While it put in an occasional appearance as “Sundal” (pronounced Soondal – a dish for another post) it almost never got to play its most popular role as the light and healthy yet sumptuous and filling Mung Daal a type of lentil curry.

Now as producer and director of the show called “In My Kitchen” I call the shots and the good green bean has landed a recurring and piping hot part. A steaming bowl of this delicious stuff hits just right note of warmth and comfort on a cold November evening.

Prep time: 10 hrs | Cook time:  40 min | Servings: 3 -4

Moong Daal Green Lentil Curry (Jay)

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Roasted Vegetable Curry (Kurma)

There are about as many different kinds of kurma (or korma) as there are homes that make them across India. A korma is a particular kind of curry where one or more of the following are a primary ingredient, coconut milk, a paste of coconut and poppy seeds ground together. Kurma is also made with cashew nut or almond paste as part of the curry. A kurma can range from being mildly spicy and a little sweet to pretty fiery. This is my takes on a basic vegetable kurma that still is a staple at my parents’ table. What I like about this way of making it is the flavor that pre-roasting each vegetable adds to the kurma and the crunchy element that comes from roasting. When I say roasting I mean in a skillet and not in the oven. This roasted veggie kurma is especially for friends who asked me to post veggie recipes and Indian recipes.

Prep time: 5 minutes | Total time: 45 minutes| Servings: 6

Roasted Veggie Kurma - Jay

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