Recipe by Chicagoland Chef du Jour
"INDIAN CUSINE is traditionally vegetarian, and you don't miss the meat because the spices are so rich" notes Chef Meeru Dhalwala. MY NOTES: Cook time does not include time for precooking chickpeas (I used canned) or cooking basmati rice. Although this recipe calls for 1 teaspoon cayenne, I found it to be moderately spicy, adjust to your liking. The brown sugar, butternut squash and yogurt tempers the heat. The brown sugar does not make this overly sweet, IMO. I searched high & low for the equivalent of whole cloves vs. ground and found several different answers. I am suggesting 1/2 teaspoon adding a dash or two more to taste. Serves 4 as the main entree or makes a great side dish.
- 1⁄4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 10 whole cloves, approx. 1/2 teaspoon ground, more to taste
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
- 1⁄4 cup light brown sugar
- 1⁄2 cup tomato puree, I used 8 oz. tomato sauce
- 2 lbs butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 3 cups chickpeas, cooked, I used 2 16 oz. cans, rinsed
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, plain for topping
- 3 scallions, sliced for garnish
- 1⁄4 cup broth, for thinning vegetable, chicken (optional)
- basmati rice, cooked, 1/2 -1 C per person more as desired
Directions See How It's Made
- Start cooking your basmati rice.
- Move oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Set a medium pot over medium-low heat. Add butter and cook until melted and foam subsides, about 2 minutes. Careful not to burn, (it is ok if the butter browns a bit while cooking. My butter browned and it still tasted great).
- Stir in turmeric, cumin, cloves, salt, cayenne and sugar and cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Stir in tomato purée/ sauce and squash until well combined.
- Transfer to a large casserole dish, (cover, although not specified, I covered to retain moisture) and bake on middle rack of oven until squash is browned and easily pierced with a sharp knife, about 20 minutes.
- Remove casserole from oven. Stir in chickpeas until well combined.
- Return to oven and roast, uncovered, until chickpeas are heated through, about 5 -10 minutes. Season with salt to taste.
- Remove the whole cloves if using.
- Although this recipe does does not call for broth, if you would like more sauce, add vegetable or chicken broth to thin.
- Serve over basmati rice. Garnish with scallions and a dollop of yogurt.