Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Colorado Kabocha Curry

It's another squash recipe!  Hooray!

Sadly, we have reached the end of the season with our CSA from Red Wagon Organic Farms.  The good news is that they had "winter keeper" boxes available for purchase, so we are now the proud owners of over 35 lbs of squash (not to mention a whole lotta potatoes, onions and shallots)!

So, needless to say, there will be a plethora of squash recipes posted in the coming months.  I think this one is a pleasant change of pace - an unusual way to utilize Colorado's Fall bounty, but surprisingly wonderful-tasting and a nice departure from the sage-spiced butternut soups we see all too often.  The curry is definitely not what I would call "authentic" (I'm not sure there are any traditional Indian recipes with Kabocha squash and leeks!) but for lovers of Indian food and locally-grown produce, it will not disappoint.  Make sure you use the best curry powder you can get your hands on for the best-tasting results.

Colorado Kabocha Curry
serves 4-6

1 medium Kabocha Squash (around 4 lbs - yields 2 1/2 cups cooked squash)
1 T peanut oil
1 T ghee (or butter)
1 large leek, sliced
1 shallot, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
2 medium red potatoes, diced
1 1/2 T curry powder
1 pinch ginger powder
2 pinches cayenne powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 cups water
3 cups chopped, fresh spinach
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup unsweetened, shredded coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Cut Kabocha in half and scrape out the pulp and seeds with a spoon.  Fill a shallow pan with about 2 inches of water and place Kabocha halves cut-side down in the pan.  Roast until very soft, about 30 to 40 minutes.  Reduce heat to 375.  Toast the shredded coconut on a sheet pan until golden, about 5 minutes.  Set aside.

While Kabocha is roasting, heat a large pot to medium and add oil and butter.  Saute the leek until soft and lightly caramelized, about 7 minutes.  Add shallot, carrots and potatoes and saute an additional minute.  Add curry powder and liquids and stir well to combine.  Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cover.

Once Kabocha is cooked and cool enough to handle, scoop out the flesh and add to the curry mixture.  Mix well and continue to simmer until liquid thickens and potatoes are soft, about 30 minutes or more. 

Once curry is thick and vegetables are cooked, add chopped spinach and cook for two minutes until wilted but still bright green in color.  Season curry with salt and pepper and serve hot, over cooked brown basmati rice, and sprinkle toasted coconut on top. 

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