Thursday, January 12, 2012

Winter Break...

Sri Lankan food consist of many vegetable dishes. Some are simple and some could be quiet complicated. One of the favorite vegetables in our family is the butternut squash curry. In other words simply (pumpkin curry). 
The creaminess of the butternut squash and the spices really brings the flavor out of this dish. You can simply eat rice and the vegetable itself without anything else. 
I sometimes dream of growing my own butternut quash. I think this vegetable has a character by its own. 
I have seen the leaves, vines, and flowers they are so pretty to look at. I have introduce this to my daughter as a baby food. She loved it.  The sweetness and its texture can be very interesting. 
Well without further more intro lets get into making the vegetable curry. I personally think once you get the hang of it this could be a simple dish. 
This is what you need it may be daunting to see the list of spices once you have stock your cabinet this is a breeze to make.
Coffee Grinder (This is a must have to ground your spices)
A butter nut squash washed, peeled, cored (pulp scooped out). and cubed
2inches long piece of cinnamon ( I usually use the Sri Lankan cinnamon if you are to use American use a 1 inch piece)
1/4 teaspoon of turmeric powder ( you can get this from the indian store as well)
1 cup of water
3 cloves garlic peeled and cut into pieces (not minced because this is going to the blender) 
1/4 Onion diced
2-3 green chillies (depends how much heat you can handle) (you can use the thai bird eye or regular indian green chillies)
3-5 curry leaves
5-6 tablespoons of scrape coconut flesh (you can get this from indian stores, sometimes   from a well stocked grocery store freezer aisle) 
1teaspoon rice (uncooked, this makes the curry thicker)
2 1/2 teaspoons of mustard seeds
1 teaspoon black pepper corns
1 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon of sugar
Place the cubed butternut squash in a medium pot, add turmeric powder, and the cinnamon. Place it on the stove on a low medium heat. 
Place the spices in the coffee and grind it well
Place all the other ingredients in the blender add a little bit of water and pulse it until it forms into a smoothie like texture.
Add the spices and blend well until everything incorporated well into the coconut mixture. 
Now check you pumpkin if it is cooked fork tender reduce the heat and add the mixture. If it is too thick and cannot scrape off the entire mixture add a little bit of water and pulse it.
Now pour the entire mixture and use the end of the wooden spoon to gently mix in. If you like your curry to be more liquid base add a little bit of water.
Finally add salt to taste and top it off  with a sugar and let it come to boil and reduce the heat and simmer it. 
This is a kind of base for few Sri Lankan vegetable curries. I will post some in summer when fresh vegetables in season.  
Hope you like this simple dish that houses many flavors. 
Serve warm with rice.

Quote of the day"master a new gadget"

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