This week I had one of those throw it together and hope it works nights. I had some butternut squash to use up from my csa and was looking for a way to make it a main dish. The freezer was low on meat and the bank account low on funds to replenish. I went to my trusty Mark Bittman and found a recipe for Winter Squash Curry. This is based on his but with some extras thrown in to a. use them up and b. make it a full meal without everyone missing the meat.
Squash curry with okra and paneer
2 butternut squash, peeled seeded and cut into bite size chunks
4-5 ounces paneer (indian cheese) cubed
2 red onions sliced
1-2 cups okra tops removed and quartered lengthwise
1 recipe make your own coconut milk (from Mark Bittman) or a can if thats what you have
3-4 tbsp olive oil
2-3 tbsp butter
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
In a large skillet melt a tablespoon of butter along with a few glugs of olive oil. Fry the okra in this mixture until crispy on the edges and well cooked, about 5-7 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from pan and keep aside for later.
Wipe out the pan, removing all the excess okra seeds. Add more oil and another tablespoon of butter and allow it to melt again. Add the onions and watch the heat, you want the onions to soften but not to get too brown.
While the onions are cooking, melt another tablespoon or two in a separate skillet and pan fry the paneer cubes until toasty on all sides. Set aside.
Once the onions are nice and soft add the curry, ginger and garam masala and stir, cooking a few more minutes. Add the squash and coconut milk. Cover and simmer 20 minutes or so until the squash is almost done. You want it soft but not falling apart. Add the paneer and okra. Cook a few more minutes to get everything coated in sauce and then serve over rice. I kept the hot out for the kids sake but served some hot mango chutney on the side for the adults.
If you don't have okra, leave it out- you won't miss it. Add something else green, green beans perhaps?
Yellow jasmine rice
To make some leftover rice better I sauteed a finely minced onion in some butter, added turmeric and fresh ginger and a little chicken broth. Added some cold leftover jasmine rice and stirred well until all was evenly colored and heated through.