Sri Lankan-Spiced Roast Butternut Squash

(10 minutes prep + 50 minutes roasting time, serves 2)

Roasting in an oven is not a common process in tropical Sri Lanka, but I live in Chicago, and roasting squash brings out the sweetness beautifully. This is a simple dish, super-easy to prep on a night when you’re tired, especially if you’re looking for something warm and comforting.

Squash can be a little difficult to cut up, so I tend to just split it and then roast; it’s easy to peel afterwards. But if you have the energy to peel and cube it raw, then you can get seasonings spread more evenly on all the sides of the cubes.

1 butternut squash, split in half
drizzle of oil (about 1/4 c.)
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
1 t. Sri Lankan roasted curry powder

1 t. jaggery or brown sugar

1. Preheat oven to 450 F.

2. Split squash (or peel and cube), drizzle with oil and seasonings. Place cut side up on foil-covered baking sheet (for ease of clean-up.) Bake about 50 minutes, until tender.

3. Let cool slightly, then peel and cut to bite-size pieces.

Serve hot with rice; I’ve added a topping of fresh micro beet greens here. This is very simple as is — you could add a coconut milk drizzle, another vegetable dish (a varai, perhaps), or a sambol or pickle accompaniment, to add complexity and interest.

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