"I love you dad because you make me feel warm,safe and snug. I love you dad for everything that you do for me.." - These were the words on a card made by a first grader for her dad who also happens to be a collegue at work. Soon after reading this, my mind wandered back to those days when baba(dad in marathi) dropped to us to school each and every day for close to 12 years. He would wait till we reach the gate and waved a goodbye. Aai(mom in marathi) gave us a warm hug and put us to sleep. We did not have everything in life but we had just enough to make us feel "warm and snug" .Its not about the house, the toys, the car etc its just how we make our kids feel. Isnt it ?
Now to more practical things in life - like the kitchen and the recipe for today. Its this steaming hot bowl of butternut squash stew.
Butternut Squash - I have not cooked with it very often. However these winter months offer a limited choice of vegetables. So the squash got its turn in our kitchen.
The recipe is very simple and comes together in minutes.
Butternut Squash Stew
2 cups of butternut squash diced ( I get the 8oz packet from Walmart. Its diced and washed )
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 onion chopped
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 bay leaves
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp chilli powder
5-6 cloves of garlic minced
1 tsp crushed red chillies
1/4 C cream or whole milk
salt to taste
5-6 tbsp of oil
How to :-
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- In a pan cobine the cumin and oil over medium heat. Once the seeds sizzle add the garlic and saute for a couple of minutes. Do not brown.
- Add the onion and cook it till soft.
- Then add the tomatoes and continue cooking till the oil separates and tomatoes are mushy.
- Add the cumin powder, chilli powder, crushed red chillies, salt and the bay leaves.
- Transfer the whole thing to an over proof dish. Add the squash pieces.
- Cover with a foil and move to oven for 45-50 min.
- After 45 min check if the squash is tender. The oil would have separated at the top and the stew will have a nice orange-red color.
- Give it 5-10min if needed. Check for seasoning. Add in the cream or milk.
- Serve hot with bread, rotis or even rice.
The stew almost cooks itself in the oven. Even though the stew looks fiery red its not very hot and spicy. It gets it sweetness from squash.