Monday, January 3, 2011

Kabocha Squash Curry

Last night I made this delicious Kabocha Squash Curry that is just loaded with delicious vegetables that soak up the silky and flavorful coconut milk curry. Some Thai restaurants do the Kabocha Squash curry, but certainly not all...I have found it can be hard to find. I really love this dish and vegetarian curries in general, but this to me, tops them all.  The squash is so sweet and buttery, but still has texture and bite to it. The kabocha squash is more dense than a butternut squash which and has a slightly different taste and a bright, beautiful color.
To cook the kabocha squash is actually quite easy. I first take the whole squash and put it in a 350 degree oven for about ten minutes. This softens it up enough to where I can cut it in half easier. Take the two halves and scoop out the seeds in the inside. Then, put the two halves, cut side down on a baking sheet, and return to the oven for about 25-30 minutes depending on the size of your squash. You want it to be done, al dente as it will continue to cook as you simmer the curry. When the squash is cool enough to handle then take small scoops out of the squash leaving only the thick skin behind.

To make the curry, I saute up all my veggies, except for the squash, with lots of garlic, ginger and a bit of salt in coconut oil. In a separate saucepan, combine 1 can of coconut milk with 2 or so tablespoons of curry paste, and a small piece of lemongrass.  (or you can make your own, but that is a separate blog post. Thai Kitchen makes some good ones). After my veggies have started to soften, then I pour my coconut milk mixture over the veggies, add the squash and  let them all simmer together. I finish the dish with a squeeze of lime juice, some chopped thai basil, and a bit more salt if to taste. Remove the lemongrass and serve over a bed of delicious brown rice. In this picture I made a brown rice pilaf with almonds, peas, onions, and a bit more spice.

This is a hearty, nutritious dish with lots of warming spices perfect for a cold January night!