So…I wasn’t kidding when I said that you’d be seeing more of me. When I’m anxious, I cook. Also, my kitchen has been over-run with Butternut Squash from my farmshare, so I have a bunch of squash/ pumpkin recipes to share. My friend John Carlisle Moore gave me permission to use his beautiful Butterbitterbetternot Squash painting in this post. You can see (and buy) more of his beautiful work on instagram @juanseemas.
On November 6th, I posted this on Facebook, “It took all weekend, but I have finally vanquished the butternut squash that have been invading my kitchen. Now, we feast on our fallen foes…for the next two weeks.” Well, we are a week out now and I still have one more of the FOUR Butternut and Goat Cheese Tarts that I made and lots of Smokey Butternut Soup in the freezer to get through.
This recipe I’m about to tell you about though? That stuff is all gone. It was very, very good. The marvelous Bridget Walsh was staying at my house during what she referred to as the “Squashpocalypse”. She and I ate it all at a tea party with some of our girlfriends. We didn’t even save any for my husband. I cannot believe that I’m saying this but…I might need to buy more butternut, so I can make more of this chaat.There are lots of chaats. This one is not traditional. If you go to a good Indian restaurant you might find aloo chaat (potatoes) or chole chaat (chickpeas) in the appetizer section of the menu. I make a version of Aloo Chat at home pretty often in the winter. From what I can tell, the formula for this delicious Indian snack food seems to be…
- Something tasty like potatoes, chickpeas (or roasted butternut squash)
- Chaat masala which is a spice mix that includes a sour flavor usually from amchur (dried mango powder) or dried pomegranate seeds
- Hot green chutney
- Sweet fruit chutney
- Garlic chutney (I always skip this)
- Yogurt (optional)
- Crunchy things such as pomegranate seeds, barely sprouted mung beans, raw onions and (my favorite) Namkeem which are little crunchy snacks such as sev (dried chickpea noodles) or puffed rice.
Listen. I’m going to give you recipes for all of these parts, but you can also buy ready-made chaat masala, green chutney and fruit chutney in any Indian grocery if you have one nearby. I make it all from scratch because when I’m anxious I cook, and I’m anxious a lot of the time.
- 1 large butternut peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
- a big splash of oil
- a bit of salt
- a couple of Tablespoons of chickpea flour (optional but good)
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Toss everything together on a baking sheet or two and spread it out in a single layer. Roast for 20 minutes and then give them a shake. Roast them until they are starting to brown a bit.
- 1 Teaspoon cayenne
- 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 Tablespoon ground coriander
- 1/4 teaspoons turmeric
- 2 teaspoons mango powder (amchur)
- 1/2 tsp salt
Mix it all up. This makes about the right amount for to sprinkle over one batch of roasted butternut. I suggest multiplying it by many and making a big jar, because this stuff makes everything taste good.
The most traditional would be tamarind chutney which is ridiculously easy to make and really good. Rhubarb chutney is my favorite but rhubarb is not in season now. I make this one with sweet fruit chutney and it was awesome.
Toss the roasted butternut with the chat Masala and pile it onto a platter. Top with dollops of hot green chutney, sweet fruit chutney and yogurt. Sprinkle with some thing crunchy like pomegranate seeds, raw onion, puffed rice or sev.
MORE IDEAS FOR CONQUERING YOUR BUTTERNUT SQUASH