The last time I used Rosemary to flavor my butternut squash soup. This time I ran out of all herbs so I turned to my most favorite seeds – fennel seeds 🙂 It was an ‘aha’ moment for me and hence I decided to blog about the same recipe twice.
“Eat like a local” is a mantra for healthy eating, agreed. But “Eat like a local with Indian Spices” is my new mantra for delicious healthy eating. I firmly believe that anything become ‘gourmet’ with addition of Indian spices and that’s what exactly happened with butternut squash.
The basic recipe is still same as earlier with few differences
- I added 1 table spoon fennel seeds and 1 table spoon cumin-coriander powder to the diced squash before popping it in the oven. The fennel seeds infuse divine flavors when roasted with the squash.
- I finely chopped ginger, garlic and green chilis, you can actually see small pieces in the picture above. It gives a nice bite and actually tastes better than adding the paste.
- heat 1 tsp of olive oil and add these ginger-garlic-chili pieces, not the paste and saute for 1 minute and then add squash puree and bring it to a boil. Add salt and pepper. That’s it.
Hope you will like it!
Hearty Soup for cold winter days
The best thing I loved about butternut squash is that it’s practically indestructible. It lasts for months (as long as you store it in a dry, cool place) I was instantly attracted to buy a butternut squash and I did think of making soup on the very same day. The day did arrive only after few months. I peeled it and was pleasantly surprised to find it in a perfect condition. And hence the story of my butternut squash soup ended on a sweet note.
Trust me, peeling it is the hardest part. Adding onion is a good idea to cut the sweetness. Many blogs have recommended to add a green apple which I didn’t have and waiting for one might have turned into wasting couple more weeks. I had fresh rosemary, thanks to my colleague. So I used some rosemary while roasting, it added a peppery flavor to it which was pleasant. Thyme goes well with any sweeter squash and also with sweet potatoes so if you have fresh thyme feel free to use some.
Butternut Squash Soup
A healthy and hearty soup with tough outside yet soft inside butternut squash
- Wash and chop a carrot in half inch pieces.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Peel and dice butternut squash into half-inch cubes. Also cut onion into equal sized pieces.
- Spread these cubes on a baking sheet and sprinkle some olive oil so that the pieces do not stick to the sheet and it also prevents them from burning.
- Sprinkle some salt and pepper.
- If you are using any fresh herbs, chop them and sprinkle on top.
- Roast these vegetables for 25-30 minutes, until tender. Let them cool down a bit.
- In a big saucepan, heat 1 table spoon of butter.
- Add Ginger-garlic-chili paste if you are using it. It's optional but I find it better to offset the sweetness from carrots and butternut squash.
- Add carrots to the pan and saute for 5 minutes.
- Now add roasted squash and onions and saute for few minutes.
- Add 2 cups of broth or water. I used water and din't notice any difference.
- Blend everything with immersion blender or a standalone blender. Adjust the amount of water or broth as per your taste.
- Now take the soup in the same saucepan, add more salt or pepper as needed. Add a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon. Let it boil for 1-2 minutes. It's ready to be served.
Note - The smaller you chop your vegetables the faster they cook so the exact time will vary. Please check after 15 minutes if they are done.
Linking to Vardhini’s Dish it Out – Squash and Sugar event happening here at MyHomeMantra
I was introduced to ‘Kadhi-Khichadi’ combination by S. I completely admit that it’s a marriage made in heaven; not very common among Maharashtrians but adored by Gujaratis.
It goes without saying that there are couple of variations found through out India – Maharashtrian kadhi, Gujarati kadhi, Punjabi kadhi and sindhi kadhi to name a few. The basic idea is to mix besan and buttermilk with some spices to make spiced, flavorful watery accompaniment to other dishes. You will find more sugar in Gujarati kadhi than any other version, punjabi kadhi has more spices and also pakoras while sindhis like to have vegetables in their kadhi.
Here is the basic kadhi, the version I grew up with –
Spinach goodness with Garlic tadka in one pot dish
This is yet another Maharashtrian classic recipe. Spinach cooked with buttermilk and besan (chick pea flour), ginger and green chilis, chana daal and peanuts for added crunch; topped with garlic tadka; you cannot go wrong with this one. I enjoy it with rice, bhakri or even like soup. It’s quick and delicious.
a bunch of spinach - washed and chopped
1-2 tea spoon grated ginger
1/2 cup yogurt or buttermilk
4-5 tea spoons besan (chana daal flour)
3-4 tea spoon chana dal
3-4 tb spoon peanuts (ground nuts)
4-5 green chillies - chopped.
3-4 aamsul / or 1/2 tea spoon tamarind paste
1 tea spoon sugar
For tadka -
mustard seeds, cumin seeds, hing, turmeric curry leaves, garlic, green chillies
salt to taste
Soak chana daal and peanuts in water for an hour so that they cook faster. It’s better to use non-roasted peanuts as they absorb water nicely and taste better when cooked.
Get water boiling, add chopped spinach leaves, peanuts and chana daal and grated ginger and aamsul. Use just enough water to immerse spinach. Let the spinach and daal cook for 5-7 minutes. In another bowl, whisk yogurt and besan and add it to the cooked spinach, let it simmer for another 3-4 minutes. I like to add one/two chillies while the spinach is cooking and rest I use in tadka.
Nest step is to prepare tadka and add it to the cooked spinach. I prefer Ghee to oil for this dish. Add mustard seeds and cumin seeds and if you like, add a few coriander seeds. Once they start splattering, add hing and turmeric powder and then garlic and green chillies and curry leaves. Add this seasoned ghee/oil to the spinach mixture. Add salt and little bit sugar. The “patal bhaji” is ready.
A little bit of sugar nicely compliments the tangy touch added by aamsul. The garlic tadka makes this simple dish out-of-this world! i
A Quick Note –
To maintain the nutritional value of spinach, it’s important not to overcook the tender leaves. Add spinach after daal and peanuts are cooked, spinach takes hardly 2-3 minutes of cooking time.
Sending this to Kiran‘s “Cooking with Whole Foods – Spinach” event hosted at cook’s joy.