Sri Lankan Curried Roast Squash with Cashews

(1 hr, serves 6-8)

If you’re going to be roasting squash, you can quickly knock up a lovely curry sauce while the squash is cooking. This is a long list of spices, but the process is very simple — just sauté onions with seasonings, add some tang and coconut milk, and you’re basically done. Cashews add protein (and deliciousness), helping to make this a complete meal.

You can use any squash, but I think the combo of butternut and acorn is particularly delicious.

1 butternut squash
1 acorn squash
1/4 c. vegetable oil (to drizzle)
2 t. salt
2 t. pepper
2 t. jaggery or brown sugar
2 t. Sri Lankan curry powder
1/4 c. vegetable oil
2 red onions, chopped fine
1-3 green chilies, seeded and chopped
1 T ginger, chopped fine
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t. black or brown mustard seed
1 t. cumin seed
1 stick cinnamon
3 cloves
3 cardamom pods
1 stalk curry leaves (about a dozen leaves)
1 c. cashew halves
1 t. tamarind paste
1 c. coconut milk
a little more curry powder and salt, to taste
lime juice, to taste
1/2 – 1 c. sultanas, optional

chopped cilantro or other greens to garnish, optional

1. Prep squash with first four seasonings and set squash to roasting, per previous recipe.

2. Sauté onions in oil on medium-high heat, stirring. Add in chilies, ginger, garlic, mustard seed, cumin seed, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom pods, curry leaves, and cashews; sauté until golden.

NOTE: If you’re not strictly vegan, it would be culturally appropriate to add 1-2 t. dried Maldive fish or something similar with the sautéing onions, which will bump up the umami component; if you do that, you may want to reduce salt.

3. Add tamarind paste and coconut milk, stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasonings — you may want to add a little more curry powder, salt, and/or lime juice. If you want a more liquid sauce, add water and stir to blend well; if you want it thicker, let simmer to desired thickness.

4. When you’re happy with the curry sauce, add cut up roasted squash (if the squash isn’t ready yet, just turn off the heat on the sauce until it is). Roast squash should be somewhat sweet already, but I like adding in some sultanas for added pops of sweetness in the curry, to balance the tang and the spice.

Serve hot with rice or bread. Lovely with sambols and pickles.

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