|Kabocha squash is also known as Japanese pumpkin|
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When you take a Japanese pumpkin, add Indian curry to tropical coconut milk and stir in Israeli couscous, you may just want to wave that zippo lighter while breaking out in a chorus of "We are the World"! I love "fusion cuisine" where you mix different types of cooking. Yesterday, I think I found my new favorite restaurant, "Avatar's" in Sausalito. I will do a proper restaurant review of this amazing eatery in the future, but they feature dishes that combine elements of both Mexican and Indian cuisine. The owner surprised me with a vegan curried pumpkin enchilada with a drizzle of mango sauce! Do you have any favorite combinations of ethnic dishes or ideas for some? Write a comment!
Also known as "Japanese pumpkin", this lovely squash has bumpy, dark green skin and is a bit sweeter and denser than a sugar pumpkin. It almost has the consistency of a sweet potato. I really love everything about this squash, especially the fact that you don't have to peel them! Just pull out the seeds, dice them up and throw them in a curry - so easy! I will warn you, however, if you leave the skin on when making a pumpkin pie, you'll end up with a pretty unattractive brown pie!
|A 2.5 pound kabocha squash or Japanese pumpkin|
I find it almost impossible to write up a curry recipe for you because there are an infinite number of curry blends using ingredients like turmeric, cumin, coriander, cayenne, ginger and other spices. I usually keep a "sweet curry" and a "hot curry" in my spice cabinet and blend them together in different ratios depending on how spicy I want the dish. So the amount of curry in this recipe is merely a suggestion.
I like adding the curry when I am sautéing the veggies as it seems to mix in more easily.
|Sautéing the veggies in a 5 quart Dutch oven|
Larger than regular couscous, Israeli couscous are really just small, round balls of pasta. I love their size and texture. Unfortunately they are difficult to find in "whole grain". There are a few on the internet but read the reviews carefully before you order. Roland, sold on Amazon, has some bad reviews claiming the couscous tasted "stale". If you have had luck finding a good whole grain couscous, let us know!
Vegan Kabocha Squash Curry with Israeli Couscous
[makes 6 servings]
A 2.5 pound kabocha squash, seeds removed and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
1 cup dry Israeli couscous
2 cups or more water with a pinch of salt
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons sweet curry, or to taste
1 teaspoon hot curry, or to taste
1 cup frozen peas, rinsed in hot water to thaw
One 15.5 ounce can light coconut milk
1 cup veggie broth or water
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
Steam kabocha squash for 5 minutes or until barely fork tender. Do not overcook. Remove from steamer and set aside.
In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil, add couscous, lower heat and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, or until done but still firm. Stir while cooking to prevent pasta from sticking to the bottom. Add more boiling water if needed.
In a 5 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil and sauté onions and peppers for 5 to 8 minutes until tender.
Add sweet and hot curry and mix thoroughly.
Add peas and cook for several minutes.
Add coconut milk, broth and salt and bring to a boil.
Lower heat and mix in cooked kabocha squash and couscous and heat for several minutes.
Per serving: 242.2 calories, 6.3 g fat, 3.8 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 6.4 g protein, 39.6 g carbohydrates and 3.6 g dietary fiber.