With Thanksgiving just around the corner, I am sure at least some of you are still planning menus just like me even though most of you might be one step ahead and are all set with your menu and your shopping! Well for me the activity starts right from October since we celebrate Dassera and Diwali, the two main Indian festivals which of course involve a lot of food (no surprises there!) ! And with all our Diwali gatherings just about over, I am now beginning to plan for Thanksgiving. Easy vegetable sides are always a good thing and if you can make them ahead, even better! This acorn squash dish is one such thing – you can either make it ahead completely or you could do some of the prep (cutting it) and then it comes together in a jiffy.
Acorn Squash is the closest to the Indian pumpkin (the ones we get in india). Yes the pumpkins in India are not as sweet as the ones here in the US and are therefore cooked as part of main course savory dishes. I accidentally discovered that acorn squash were akin to the Indian pumpkin when I brought it home one time from our local farm and tried making a sabzi out of it. Wow, this was just like our kadhu ki sabzi!
This recipe is very typical southern Indian where minimal spices and heat are added and shredded coconut is added towards the end. Extra virgin coconut oil, Mustard seeds, cumin, curry leaves, garlic and turmeric are the predominant flavors and they all come together beautifully in this recipe.
- 1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds (omit for AIP)
- 1 tsp cumin seeds (omit for AIP)
- 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 6- 8 fresh curry leaves
- 3 cups acorn squash, cut into about ½ inch by ¼ inch thick pieces (I keep the skin)
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ¼ to ½ tsp kashmiri chilli powder (omit for AIP)
- ⅛ tsp asafoetida
- ½ cup fresh grated coconut (or frozen grated coconut thawed) or shredded coconut
- In a large skillet or a wide bottomed pan or wok style pan, heat the coconut oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds (if adding) and the cumin seeds(if adding) and turn heat to low.
- When the mustard seeds have all finished spluttering, add the garlic and the curry leaves. Stir for 30 secs and then add the acorn squash.
- Add the salt, turmeric and the kashmiri chilli powder (if adding) and the asafoetida. Stir to mix all the spices with the acorn squash and cover and cook on medium heat for 5 mins. Open the lid and add the grated coconut (or shredded coconut) and stir to incorporate the coconut well into the mixture. Turn heat off.