A delicious roasted kabocha squash dish inspired by a traditional Bengali recipe, this one is lusciously embellished with lots of onion and garlic, and bathed in coconut milk.
Meera Sodha writes in East, from which this recipe is excerpted: “I have loosely based this recipe on the Bengali malai kari, a dish made with sweet onions, garam masala, and rich coconut milk. Warming, hearty, and sharpened with a little lime for freshness, it’s best eaten with rice or scooped onto the softest naan you can ﬁnd.”
Substitution: If you can’t get hold of kabocha squash, use an equal amount (by weight) of butternut squash.
While this serves 4 as a main dish, it provides more serving as a side.
Excerpted from East: Vegan and Vegetarian Recipes from Bangalore to Beijing by Meera Sodha © 2020. Reprinted with permission from Flatiron Books. All right reserved. Photography by David Loftus. Photo as top: David Loftus.
- 2½ lbs kabocha squash
- Canola or other neutral vegetable oil
- 2 medium red onions, ﬁnely chopped
- ¾ inch ginger, peeled and ﬁnely grated
- 5 cloves garlic, crushed
- ¾ cup strained tomatoes
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1¾ tsp red chile powder, such as Kashmiri
- 1½ tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1½ (14-ounce) cans coconut milk
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Optional: toasted ﬂaked almonds
- Naan bread or hot cooked rice for serving
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper or foil.
- Without peeling, cut the squash in half, scoop out and discard the seeds, and cut the ﬂesh into thin crescents, no more than ¾ inch wide. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with a big pinch of salt, then pop them on the pans in one layer.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the squash halfway through, until tender and blackening at the edges.
- Heat about ¼ cup of oil in a deep frying pan over a medium ﬂame, and when hot add the onions. Cook for 15 minutes until really soft, then add the ginger and garlic. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, then add the tomato and cook for a further 6 minutes, until rich and paste-like.
- Add a generous pinch of salt, the spices, and sugar. Stir to mix, then add the coconut milk. Mix well and heat through until thick and bubbling. Taste, squeeze in a little lime, and taste again, adjusting the salt, sugar, or lime juice as you wish.
- To serve, pour the sauce onto each plate and top with a few wedges of squash. Sprinkle over some toasted almonds or fresh cilantro if you like, and serve with naan bread or rice.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 367Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 269mgCarbohydrates: 50gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 8g
Nutrition data is always an estimate depending on program used to calculate and exact products used. This is given for informational purposes only and accuracy cannot be guaranteed.
East by Meera Sodha is available wherever books are sold
About the author
Meera Sodha (author of Made in India and Fresh India and The Guardian’s vegan columnist) has a stunning new cookbook, East (10/20). Looking beyond India to East Asia and South East Asia, Meera found incredible inspiration for how to shift vegetables from the side to the center of the plate.
This cookbook is a collaboration between Meera and the home cooks and chefs she met on her culinary journey east, and it features 120 vegan and vegetarian recipes from Bangalore to Beijing like Mushroom Bao, Pumpkin Malai Kari, Silken Tofu with Pine Nuts and Pickled Chiles, Brussels Sprout Nasi Goreng and Salted Miso Brownies.