Serving
(click to enlarge)

Winter Squash with Chickpeas
India - Bengal   -   Kumro Chokka

Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
***
1-1/4 hr  
Yes

Delicious and satisfying as a vegetarian main dish served with steamed Basmati rice, this recipe's spicing is mild enough so it can also serve as a side dish for Western cuisine. I'm usually not a big squash fan, but I find this recipe excellent.



1-1/3
2/3
12
5
1
2
1
1/2
1
2
1
2
------
1-1/2
2
2
2
3
------
#
c
oz
oz
t
t
t
c
t
T
T
T
---
T



in
---
Winter Squash (1)
Chickpeas, cooked (2)  
Bell Pepper, green (3)
Onion, red
Turmeric
Salt
Sugar
Yogurt
Garam Masala (4)
Oil
Spice Paste (5)
Lemon Juice (6)
-- Tadka
Ghee (7)
Bay Leaves
Green Cardamoms
Cloves
Cinnamon stick (8)
----------

PREP   -   (30 min - exclusive of preparing chickpeas)
  1. Soak GARBANZOS about 8 hours with 1/4 teaspoon of salt (yes, salt), then cook until tender but not at all mushy.
  2. Peel SQUASH, scrape out the seed mass and dice about 1/2 inch on a side, or as desired.
  3. Core BELL PEPPERS and cut into strips up to 2 inches long and 3/8 inch wide.
  4. Chop ONION quite small.
  5. Mix together Turmeric, Salt and Sugar.
  6. Mix together Yogurt and Garam Masala.
  7. Mix together all Tadka items in a tiny pan. The Bay Leaves and Cinnamon Stick should be broken up into a several pieces.
  8. Squeeze Lemon Juice.
RUN   -   (40 min)
  1. In a spacious sauté pan, wok or kadhai, heat Oil and fry Onion and Spice Paste stirring for about 2 minutes, then stir in Squash, Bell Pepper and Turmeric mix. Fry stirring over fairly high heat for about 4 minutes.
  2. Stir in Chickpeas and Yogurt mix until well blended. Cover tightly and simmer slowly, stirring a couple of times, until squash is tender but not at all mushy. This may be 15 to 30 minutes depending on your squash. I don't like my curries too dry, so I included 1 T of water as well.
  3. Stir in Lemon Juice and get it ready to serve.
  4. Bring the Tadka up to frying temperature for about 1 minute, then pour it over the Squash (see Note-9).
  5. Serve hot with plenty of steamed Basmati rice.
NOTES:
  1. Winter Squash:   Weight is after peeling, as yield from different squash can vary significantly. The photo example used almost half a large green Hubbard squash, but other winter squash will do fine too. For details, see our Squash page.
  2. Chickpeas:   Garbanzos in California, Kabuli Chana in India. These are best soaked overnight with a little salt and cooked, but a good brand of canned beans could be used. For details see our Beans, Peas & Lentils page.
  3. Bell Peppers:   This is an adaption used in the source recipe, a substitute for the Potol or Pointed Gourd used in Bengal. The flavor is different, but texture and color are similar. Potol are seldom available even here in Los Angeles. For details see our Gourds page.
  4. Garam Masala:   Bengali garam masalas are very simple compared to those of northern India, see our recipe Garam Masala - Bengali. If you have only a northern style GM, it certainly won't ruin the dish.
  5. Spice Paste:   This is simple - see our recipe for Ginger Cumin Coriander Paste . You can make up a batch - or, just as much as you need for this recipe.
  6. Lemon Juice:   This is my addition. While very good, the recipe seemed to lack something. This fixed it.
  7. Ghee:   This is highly clarified butter, available from stores serving an Indian, Middle Eastern or North African community. If you must use oil, avocado oil has a more buttery taste than others.
  8. Cinnamon Stick:   Use real Cinnamon if at all possible. The Cassia Bark sold as Cinnamon in the United States won't work well - it's too thick and hard for the short frying time of a Tadka. Real Cinnamon can be found in markets selling Mexican herbs and spices, because that's what's used in Mexico.
  9. Tadka:   In India, people eat everything with their fingers, and can easily feel and deal with the debris from the Tadka. This is not the case in North America, so you are justified in straining it before pouring over the squash. If I'm serving buffet style, I just strain the Tadka and stir it in right after the Lemon Juice.
  10. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste

imv_sqgarbo1 bfsc137 140730   -   www.clovegarden.com
©Andrew Grygus - agryg@aaxnet.com - Linking to and non-commercial use of this page is permitted.