It’s freezing outside today. Well, freezing for Bay Area standards. I’ll happily admit that I’m a big baby when it comes to the weather being cold. My hubby, who’s from Chicago, always teases me about how the Bay Area doesn’t have “real” winter, how a little bit of cold & rain does not a winter make. Ok, fine. But it’s still cold as far as I’m concerned. On days like today, I love making a hearty recipe that just warms my bones. Something that sticks to you and leaves you full and happy. This Butternut Squash Curry does just that. I took inspiration for this recipe from a good friend of mine who also loves to cook. He made this when we came over to him & his wife’s place in SF, but I think his version didn’t have chickpeas. I added the chickpeas and served it with a mint & almond whole wheat couscous that helped absorb some of that great spicy curry sauce. The hubby and I loved it: he said that even though he generally doesn’t like “mushy” stews, (his words, not mine!) this one had just the right bit of texture with the chickpeas and almonds in the couscous.
For the Curry
2 cans of chickpeas, drained & washed
20 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 butternut squash, peeled & cut into 2 inch chunks
1 red onion, finely chopped
4-6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley (optional if you don’t like parsley)
2 tablespoons of finely chopped cilantro + more for garnish
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoon of tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups of water
For the Couscous
1 cup whole wheat couscous
1 cup vegetable stock
Chopped fresh mint
Sliced roasted almonds
Chop your veggies, herbs and the butternut squash. To cut the squash: slice off the top & bottom, and then cut it in half width wise. Peel both halves. Then cut each half length wise. Scoop out the seeds. Then chop into cubes!
Heat oil in a large pot, and add the onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for about 20 seconds, then add the cumin, turmeric and cayenne pepper. Cook for 30 seconds, stirring continuously. Add the paprika, tomato paste, sugar and half the coriander, parsley, salt and pepper. Stir.
Add the tomatoes and the drained chickpeas. Stir and then add the butternut squash and the water, stir and then cover with the lid. Once simmering, turn the heat down to low and cook covered for 35 minutes.
Cook couscous according to package directions with vegetable stock or water. Once it’s cooked, fluff with a fork and stir in mint and almonds.
Garnish curry with some cilantro and serve with couscous.