Monday, September 27, 2010

Winter Squash and Pea Shoot Curry-Chapati Recipe Follows

I'm lousy with squash at the moment, and running out of counter space to keep them. For this curry I used a Carnival squash, and a Buttercup, but you could easily substitute Acorn, or Butternut, or Pumpkin even. Curry is pretty adaptable. I probably shouldn't treat it as a dumping ground for gluts of vegetables, but honestly, I do. I suppose if anyone around here would eat risotto we'd have another place to bury the unwanteds, but we all pretty well hate the stuff.

I looked around the web for inspiration, and didn't really find any. The closest recipe I could find to what I had in mind insisted on thickening the whole affair with arrowroot. I should think with an entire tin of coconut milk that would be overkill, but we tend to like our curry on the thinner side to pour over rice. Keeping this in mind, I'll offer a recipe of sorts, but you go ahead and fiddle with it until it suits your tastes-hey, don't argue with me, I don't know how spicy you like curry, or if you prefer oil to ghee. Go fiddle already.

I served this with some curried apple chutney I made last year (our final jar-time to can more) and chapatis (recipe follows at end of post). The boys both had seconds, so I'll take that as a positive review.

For the Curry:

4 cups of peeled, seeded. cubed winter squash
3 tablespoons cooking oil

Roast in a pan at 400 degrees F. for about an hour, until soft. Can be made ahead.

2 large onions, chopped
4 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1/8 cup cooking oil (I used soybean)
4 cups fresh pea shoots
1 tablespoon Madras curry powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 tin (400 mil) coconut milk (you can use less, or half water if you prefer a lighter version)

In a large pot, cook the onions, ginger, and garlic over medium heat with the oil until onion starts to brown-try not to burn the garlic. Add the curry powder and salt and mix well. Add the cooked squash, and pea shoots. Cook for about 2 minutes over low heat. Add the coconut milk and cook a bit longer until it is heated through. Serve hot, over rice (see below)

For Spiced Rice:

1 3/4 cup water
1 cup rinsed and drained jasmine rice
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1/4 cup raisins
1 cinnamon stick
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Salt to taste

Bring water to a boil, add everything except rice and return to a boil. Stir in rice, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes longer. Fluff with fork before serving (remove the cinnamon stick, of course).

For Chapatis:

Open all your windows (seriously, these will smoke up the kitchen as they bake)

In a bowl, mix 1 cup whole wheat flour with 1 cup AP flour. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Begin with 1/2 cup (you may need double that) of water, adding slowly until the dough comes together in a ball. If it is crumbly, add a tablespoon at a time until you can work it. Gather into a ball and let rest while the pan heats.

I make these on a cast iron pan that is ungreased. Most cast iron pans have enough residual grease and oil from other cooking that nothing will stick. It will smoke a bit, but a fan and open window will do the trick. Divide the dough into 12 balls. Dust them generously with flour and roll out into 5 inch circles. Toss them, one at a time onto a hot pan. Bake until they begin to brown, then flip and cook on the other side (about a minute each. On the second turn, use a spatula to lightly touch the chapatis in the centre-they should puff up a bit. Remove to a piece of foil that you can fold over into a pouch to keep warm. Makes 12.

No comments: