It was love at first sight when the mailman delivered my copy of Anupy Singla's book, The Indian Slow Cooker. Pre-book, my slow cooker dishes all seemed like the same old stew. Now, I'm enjoying my slow cooker more, and I'm preparing Indian food more often, too. This butternut squash is the third dish I've posted here, and it would make a wonderful side to either the Pakistani "old clothes" beef curry or the chicken vindaloo. And, like those two recipes, this one can be made in advance and reheated. It will take longer to cut up the squash than to get the rest of the dish ready for the slow cooker, and if your slow cooker (like mine) has a slightly ill-fitting lid that allows some of the aroma to escape during cooking, you'll be rewarded with the rich scent of Indian spices throughout the day.
Slow cooker Indian-spiced butternut squash
Recipe from The Indian Slow Cooker. Serves 6.
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
2 brown cardamom pods
1 2-inch cinnamon stick
1 yellow or red onion, peeled, cut in quarters, and sliced
1 medium tomato, diced
2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp ground coriander
3 lbs butternut squash, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces (approx. 6 cups)
1 large jalapeño or 3-4 Thai or serrano chile peppers, seeded and chopped
2 tsp brown sugar
1 tsp garam masala
1-2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Cilantro, for garnish (optional)
In a small sauce pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the fenugreek, cumin, cardamom and cinnamon stick. Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture sizzles. Add the onion and cook for another minute or two, stirring, until the onion browns slightly. Add to the slow cooker and turn it on HIGH.
Add the tomato, turmeric and coriander, and mix well. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Add the squash, and mix again. Turn the cooker to LOW and cook for 4 hours, stirring once each hour.
Add the jalapeño, brown sugar, garam masala, 1 tsp of salt, cayenne and lemon juice. Stir gently, leaving some chunks of squash whole while others get mashed into the sauce. Taste, and add more salt if needed.
Garnish with cilantro if you like it (I don't), and serve hot with roti, naan, or on its own.
More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Pakistani "old clothes" beef curry in the slow cooker
Roasted winter squash with cranberries, pepitas and honey-lime vinaigrette
Slow cooker chicken vindaloo
Butternut squash macaroni and cheese
Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Green beans with garam masala buter and toasted hazelnuts, from Steamy Kitchen
Fenugreek seeds with potatoes, from eCurry
Cha ca thang long (Vietnamese turmeric fish with dill), from Ravenous Couple
Roasted eggplant with yogurt-turmeric sauce, from Fearless Kitchen
Cornbread with green chiles and cinnamon, from Gluten-Free Goddess
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