My dad set out earlier this year to sow a bunch of seeds that he thought would turn into beautiful butternuts. Instead, what he got was a bunch of green, bowling-ball-sized squash that looked like cantaloupe inside.
As he was describing these to me over the phone, I immediately thought (and wished, and prayed) that they must be kabocha squash.
“Kabocha?” he said. My dad, the garden-guru, the man who puts on his farm boots daily and holds a hoe as if it were his full-time job, was stumped. He quickly found out that kabocha can combat a butternut, easily, and perhaps even come out on top.
Sweet, creamy, orange…it’s everything you could want in a squash. And this “Japanese pumpkin” is all the rage these days in the culinary world. Perhaps that’s why I befriended it before my soil-drenched daddy-o.
Anyway, I stole away with a bunch from my dad’s harvest, and it turned into the inspiration for this autumn curry. Lately I’ve been doing a ton of Thai curries, so I decided to take this one in an Indian direction with some quality curry powder, and finished with a spritz of lime and fresh cilantro. Serve it over brown rice, and if you’re feeling fancy, add some warn naan on the side.
- -1 1/2 Tbsp. coconut oil
- -2-3 garlic cloves, minced
- -1 Tbsp. minced ginger
- -1 lg. onion, finely chopped
- -1 lg. red bell pepper, finely chopped
- -1/2 med. kabocha squash, cubed
- -1 lg. crown of broccoli, chopped
- -1 handful of collard greens, chopped
- -1 tsp. of salt, plus more to taste
- -1 Tbsp. tamari
- -1 1/2 Tbsp. curry powder
- -1/2 tsp. cumin
- -1/2 tsp. of cayenne (or to taste, if not into spicy food)
- -1/2 Tbsp. sugar
- -1/2 cup black lentils
- -2 1/2 cups of water
- -1 (15 oz.) can full-fat coconut milk
- -1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
- -1 lg. lime
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add garlic, ginger, onion and bell pepper. Saute for 5 minutes, and then add the kabocha squash. Let cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the salt, tamari, curry powder, cumin, cayenne, sugar, lentils and water. Cover, and bring to a low simmer. Cook 15 minutes, and then add collards. Cook another 2-3 minutes, or until lentils and squash begin to soften.
- Then, coconut milk and broccoli. Cook for another 6-8 minutes. Adjust salt, to taste. Serve over rice, topped with chopped cilantro and a squeeze of lime.